Monday, June 23 2014, 02:41 PM CDT
Missouri AMBER Alert Murder Suspect In Court
SPRINGFIELD, Missouri -- Prosecutors in Missouri are seeking the death penalty against the man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl.
Authorities found Hailey Owen's body in Craig Michael Wood's basement.
'Enter pleas of not guilty to each and all of the counts herein," Patrick Berrigan, Wood's defense attorney, informed the court room Friday.
The 10-year-old victim's family had this to say about Wood's not guilty please to the five counts including kidnap, rape and murder.
"It is very had to sit and watch him, him say 'not guilty' to all of the things that he has done to Hailey. She went through a horrible time and in her life. But, we know she's in heaven right now with her Lord Jesus," Linda Minor, Owen's great grandmother, said.
The girl's grandparents remember her fondly. Minor said sometimes hearing what her granddaughter went through when she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and shot, her body later hidden in the suspect's home, becomes too much to hear repeated again and again in court.
"She was a precious, sweet little girl. We loved her very much," Betty Herman, also Owen's great grandmother, said.
But Minor says they know it is important to get the case right. Prosecutor's said they will seek the death penalty in this case.
"After reviewing the case, having the preliminary hearing and consulting with the family the state has today, filed its notice of intent to seek the death penalty," Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson said.
It was a kind of cold comfort for Hailey's family.
"I am glad to see that 'man's justice' is being done. And, you know, we cannot judge his soul, I truly believe that, but that is left up to God. And God will judge that. He says 'Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.' But, I am glad to see that 'man's justice' is being done and that it is proceeding and not being drug out and drug out and drug out," Minor said.
The woman also says she knows they are months away from trial but she has hope for other families.
"I never dreamed that we would be going through what we are going through and I pray that nobody, nobody, no other child has to go through what Hailey went through," she said.
Wood is being held without bail. He is due in court again at the end of August.