SPRINGFIELD, Mo — The man accused of raping and killing 10 year old Hailey Owens in 2014 will stand trial today.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin at 8:30am in the Greene County Courthouse.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
It was just last week that a jury was selected in Platt County, just north of Kansas City. 8 men and 4 women, all white, will determine the guilt or innocence for 49-year old Craig Michael Wood.
“With a jury, you’re opening statement is really about building some rapport,” said Adam Woody. The Springfield criminal defense attorney joined KOLR10 Daybreak on Monday morning. “You really want the jury to get to know you a little bit, and to maybe even like you a little bit.”
“With a judge, those things don’t matter. The judge wants specifically the facts that the court is going to hear,” said Woody.
As reported by the Springfield News-Leader, they will be housed in an undisclosed hotel in Springfield for the duration of the trial, expected to last about a week.
“The opening statements set the tone for the entire trial,” explained Adam Woody.
“Not knowing any details about their strategy, I will be interested in seeing how the defense comes out of the gates. They could address the death penalty directly, or they could try to argue some kind of diminished capacity to talk the charges down from 1st degree murder.”
The trial is open to the public, however protestors will be required to remain outside on the sidewalks to keep courtroom proceedings uninterrupted.
Additional parking has been arranged across the street from the courthouse on Booneville Ave to accommodate increased traffic.