Wood's Attorney Moves to Suppress Statements to Police

By KOLR10 News , Matt Lupoli | mlupoli@kolr10.com

Published 04/18 2014 12:18PM

Updated 04/18 2014 06:24PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A motion has been filed by Craig Michael Wood’s attorney asking that Wood’s statements to the police be thrown out, according to court documents, and claiming that investigators coerced a confession from him.

Wood, the Springfield man charged with abducting and murdering 10-year-old Hailey Owens, was “suffering from fatigue, mental illness, drug withdrawal, intoxication, emotional turmoil and psychological instability,” Assistant Public Defender Patrick J. Berrigan wrote in the motion. 

Berrigan also wrote that Wood’s arrest was illegal and police had “neither probable cause nor an arrest warrant justifying their actions.”

If Wood’s statements to police are suppressed, they would not be allowed as evidence at a preliminary hearing, and likely would not be used in the proceeding trial.

The motion also makes a claim that police coerced a confession from Wood by promising him leniency.

Wood faces charges of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and child kidnapping.

"What a defendant is trying to do is keep evidence from the finder of fact -- whether it be the jury or the judge," Attorney Adam Woody said.

Woody is not involved in the case, but offered legal analysis for KOLR 10 News. He said motions to suppress statements are not uncommon in criminal cases.

"I don't think this is a situation where the defendant thinks he is going to win but it is certainly a situation that is litigated frequently and it's no surprise it will be litigated in this case as well," Woody said. 

Woody said the reasoning behind the motion could go beyond the courtroom.

"I think part of the reason to file a motion to suppress is to try to get access to some of those reports and some of those statements, because if the motion to suppress is filed, the defense at that stage could then allege that they need those items in order to effectively represent their client in the motion to suppress in particular."

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