Victim’s Mother Stays Hopeful After Hung Jury in Murder Trial


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Stacey Herman says she didn’t know what to expect going into court Monday morning to find out if the man who killed her 10-year-old daughter would be sentenced to death row or life in prison.

All along she has said she trusts the justice system and the outcome it decides for Craig Wood. And now that the decision could be in Judge Thomas Mountjoy’s hands, she says she trusts he will do what’s right. 

After four hours of deliberation, it was a hung jury in the trial of 49-year-old Craig Wood, convicted of kidnapping, raping and shooting 10-year-old Hailey Owens back in 2014. 

“I want justice for Hailey, but I’ll keep pushing on,” Herman said. 

The jury had been in Judge Thomas Mountjoy’s courtroom for seven days hearing both sides of the case. In the last three days, the defense has been trying to convince the jurors to choose life in prison. 

“This is not the worst of the worst that we reserve the death penalty for,” said Pat Berrigan, the defense attorney. “For those worst 50 minutes that he lived, he will die in prison, no doubt about that. “But for the other 49 years, we ask you, we urge you to spare his life.” 

The prosecution asking for the death penalty.

“The defendant decided the time of when Hailey Owens would die. He does not deserve your mercy,” said Dan Patterson, the prosecuting attorney.  

But the jury could not come to a unanimous decision after a little more than four hours of deliberation. 

“But it’s important that this has all been done in the memory and honor of her daughter Hailey,” said David Ransin, Herman’s attorney. 

Now,  a motion for a new trial will be heard on January 11th, 2018. If it’s denied, the judge could rule on a sentence on that day. 

And a mother who has been waiting for more than three and a half years for an end to this legal procedure, and for closure, will have to wait a little longer. 

“She has been patient and asks that everyone be patient, as well,” Ransin said. 

Herman says she finds strength in her memories and in staying connected to her daughter in ways Hailey would understand.

“This might sound silly, but I color her Tinker Bell books,” Herman said. 

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