Court upholds death sentence for man who killed 10-year-old Hailey Owens

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for a man who kidnapped, raped and killed a 10-year-old girl in Springfield.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the court ruled Tuesday that the trial court judge’s decision in Craig Wood’s case was appropriate and that the death sentence wasn’t disproportionate.

At issue was that jurors who convicted Wood of first-degree murder in the 2014 death of Hailey Owens couldn’t decide whether to sentence him to death or life in prison without parole. That left the decision in the hands of the judge who oversaw Wood’s trial.

Missouri and Indiana are the only states where a judge can impose a death sentence. Other states follow the federal procedure in which a defendant is sentenced to life in prison if jurors deadlock.

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