Hearing set in Springfield girl’s abduction, death

Craig Michael Wood

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – A middle-school football coach charged with killing a 10-year-old Springfield girl is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday.

Forty-five-year-old Craig Michael Wood’s arraignment was initially scheduled for Thursday but postponed a day. Wood was charged on Wednesday with first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action in the shooting death of fourth-grader Hailey Owens.

Police say the child was snatched off the street just blocks from her home in what they call a stranger abduction. Several neighbors unsuccessfully attempted to rescue the child, chasing the suspect on foot and by car.

Wood has worked for the Springfield school district since 1998 as a coach, substitute teacher and teacher’s aide. Hailey attended a different school, and police and school officials say the two didn’t know each other.

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