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Former Football Coach Sentenced To Death For Rape, Murder Of 10-Year-Old Girl

Back in February 2014, the town of Springfield, Missouri was shaken to its core by a heinous crime that was equal parts repulsive and shocking. A 10-year-old girl named Hailey Owens was merely walking along the street near her home when a truck pulled up alongside her.

The man inside of the truck quickly pulled her inside and took off. This all took place in front of stunned bystanders, many of whom were quickly in hot pursuit of the vehicle.

The driver of the truck was able to easily elude those that were on foot, and he would eventually lose another vehicle that was chasing after him. The man would rape the little girl before bringing her back to his home, where he would then shoot her to death in his basement.

Police were eventually able to track down the truck, and they were stunned to find the girl’s deceased body inside two plastic bags that were placed in a plastic tub in the basement of the man’s home.

As the New York Post shares, the man was brought to trial, and he has been finally found guilty of his unconscionable actions. The judge sentenced him to death after the jury couldn’t decide whether to call for life behind bars or death.

So who was this animal that committed this shocking crime? A random insane person that just so happened to stumble across an easy mark? Nope.

His name is Craig Wood, and the 49-year-old is a former paraprofessional at the Pleasant View Middle School, where he served as a football coach and supervised students that were serving in-school suspension. The defense didn’t have anything resembling a case to even attempt to justify his actions, as no witnesses were called on Wood’s behalf.

Wood would not testify on his own behalf either, but his attorney would note that he ‘acted impulsively’ when he grabbed the terrified girl in broad daylight.

News of the shocking crime quickly spread throughout town, and residents expressed a mixture of shock, outrage, and disgust.

“People can’t believe this would happen. It’s just the fact that she wasn’t far from her home, then instantly, poof, she’s gone,” said one local resident in the wake of the crime.

It’s been noted that Wood rarely socialized and that he had never married or had children of his own. His record includes an infraction for possession of a controlled dangerous substance back in 1990 and another offense for illegal taking of wildlife back in 2001.

At the time of the crime, his father was reached for commentary by the Kansas City Star.

“I can tell you it is just a tragedy. We’re stunned, for everybody who knows him,” said Jim Wood.
Markus Owens, Hailey’s father, couldn’t bring himself to say very much when he was approached by a local television station.

“All I can say right now is I miss her and I love her.”

While absolutely nothing is going to heal the pain that the little girl’s family has had to deal with, some observers and local residents have taken solace in the fact that justice has been served on Wood. That said, it’s a scar for the community as a whole that will never completely heal.

Source: NY Post
Photo: KSPR, Ozarks First

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