A convicted killer who raped and murdered a ten-year-old girl wants his death sentenced overturned, his lawyer said during an appeal.
Craig Wood, 51, was found guilty in January 2018 of abducting Haley Owens and taking her back to his Springfield, Missouri home where he raped her during the final 45 minutes of her life before he shot her in the head in February 2014.
On Tuesday, Woods attorney, Rosemary Percival, told the Missouri Supreme Court that the process used to sentence his client to death was not constitutional, NBC reported.
During Woods trial, the jury was unable to decide whether to sentence him to death or life in prison, so the choice was ultimately made by Judge Thomas Mountjoy, who oversaw the case.
Missouri and Indiana are the only states where a judge is able to impose a death sentence. In the remaining 48, a defendant is sentence to life in prison if jurors are deadlocked.
As he handed down the sentence, Mountjoy spoke about the death of innocence in regards to the case.
It is an exceptional case, an extreme case, I think, in all regards, he said,
The judges ruling came months after a jury convicted Wood of first-degree murder following a four day trial in November 2017.
Jurors heard the gruesome details of the case as the prosecutor described the day Wood lured Haley into his truck on a street near her home.
A man testified that he witnessed the abduction from his garage and sprinted towards the truck, nearly reaching it before it before it sped off.
In the hours following Haleys disappearance, police and residents scoured the community looking for the little girl, bRead More – Source