SPRINGFIELD, Mo — The jury in the 1st degree murder of Craig Wood could not return a sentence to Judge Thomas Mountjoy yesterday after deliberating for 4 hours.
A hearing is now scheduled on January 11, 2018 where Judge Mountjoy will rule on the defense’s motion for a new trial. If over-ruled, he could sentence Wood that same day.
Criminal defense attorney Adam Woody joined KOLR10 Daybreak on Tuesday morning.
Question: The jury could not come to an unanimous decision about sentencing. Is this hung jury a surprise?
“When you get 12 people together, you never know what they are going to discuss. You don’t know what they are going to focus on, and you don’t know what they are going to decide.
It’s just hard to get all 12 people to agree, especially when it’s something this grave.
You’re talking about whether to put someone to death or not. That’s a difficult thing to do.
Question: The jury found both aggravating and mitigating circumstances. How will the judge take that into consideration?
“The judge is always cognizant of the jury relied on. In most cases, the judge is almost always going to go with the jury’s recommendation.”
Question: The jury found a number of aggravating circumstances, including: the victim was random, it was torturous, and that the defendant had callous diregard for the sanctity of human life.
Even so, that does not constitute the death penalty.
“In death penalty cases, not only do you have to have the right case, but you also have to have the right defendant to impose the death penalty.
The jury will look at all the factors of this case when determining whether to put someone to death.
This will include what the defense presented in their case and in their closing arguments.”
Question: What can we expect from now until January?
“I don’t think the judge will hear any new arguments from now until January.
One big thing is that the defense will file a motion for a new trial, but it’s necessary to file because it grants them the right to appeal later on. The chances of that motion being granted is very slim.”