The Missouri Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today (Tuesday) in Jefferson City in the case of a prisoner appealing his death sentence for killing a Springfield girl five years ago.
Fifty-one-year-old Craig Michael Wood is currently incarcerated in Potosi, under a death sentence. Wood was convicted of first-degree murder for the 2014 kidnapping and killing of ten-year-old Hailey Owens in Springfield.
Wood’s attorneys have filed a 136-page brief with the Missouri Supreme Court. In it, they argue that Missouri is one of only two states that allow a judge to impose a death sentence after jurors could not. Greene County Circuit Judge Thomas Mountjoy sentenced Wood to death. Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office has responded with a 106-page brief, which says Missouri’s statute allowing a judge to impose a death sentence when the jury deadlocks is constitutional.
The attorney general’s office writes that the Missouri Supreme Court “has repeatedly found that procedure to be constitutional.”