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Craig Michael Wood Makes First In-Person Court Appearance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The man accused of kidnapping and murdering 10-year-old Hailey Owens made his first in-person court appearance today at the Green County Courthouse. Craig Michael Wood is charged with first-degree murder, child kidnapping, and armed criminal action.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Dressed in khaki-colored pants, a striped shirt, and a tie, a clean-shaven Craig Michael Wood made his first court appearance at 10:05 Wednesday morning.

Wood is accused of abducting and killing 10-year-old Hailey Owens.

Wood did not speak during the motion hearing and sat emotionless next to Capital Defense Attorney Patrick Berrigan. Meanwhile, members of Hailey Owens' family, including her parents Stacy and Jeff Barfield, and others sat in the front row.

For 30 minutes, the Berrigan and Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson presented arguments to various motions.

"I'm going to treat this like I do any case," said Judge Mark Powell.

Powell ruled that wood will be allowed to dress in street clothes with a hidden restraining device in court and he will be able to appear at pretrial hearings.
The defense also argued for the motion to have the prosecution produce evidence before a preliminary hearing-- Berrigan argued by not doing so, this would give the state an advantage prior to the preliminary hearing-- this was overruled.

The defense also argued for no television cameras, saying this could influence potential witnesses. Judge Powell said he would take into account, but for now would allow one video and still camera at future hearings.

"My reaction is that we have open courtrooms, and to the extent courts can accommodate media- television and photos- courtrooms should do that," said Patterson. "The judge placed some limitations on that which are reasonable."

Patterson did not rule out the possibility of pursuing the death penalty for Wood.

"Two punishments for murder in the first degree.  One is death penalty, another is life without possibility of parole," said Patterson. "Procedurally, there are some filings that have to take place to get certain notices.  We're early in that procedure that typically takes place once the case has been through circuit court."

It's not clear if any of Woods' family or friends attended the hearing.

Due to scheduling conflicts with the medical examiner witness, wood's preliminary hearing was reset from April 2nd to April 24th.

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