SPRINGFIELD, Mo — Monday begins week 2 of the Craig Wood trial. The defense, led by attorney Patrick Berrigan, is expected to rest their case in the sentencing phase of this trial by the end of today.
A jury from Platt County is determining the sentence for Wood, who was convicted of 1st degree murder of Hailey Owens back in 2014. Those options, under Missouri Law, are either life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Criminal defense attorney Adam Woody joined KOLR10 Daybreak this morning to analyze the trial as it begins to wind down.
Question: How important are these last couple of days in the trial for both the defense and the prosecution?
“This last push is critical. You’ve heard from the defense as they have tried to personalize Craig Wood. They have focused on his upbringing and his family life.
Keep in mind though that the State is not done. They will have their chance in closing arguments to fight back.
They are going to try to elicit a lot of emotion like they did last week in the guilt phase of the trial. They are going to remind the jury what they are there for.
Question: The defense has called a lot of witnesses to the stand: Will Killburn testified this weekend. In it, he said “Marijuana was his drug of choice, and I would say that he probably smoked pot every day for at least the last 25 years that I’ve known him.”
He later testified that he has seen Wood under the influence of cocaine, LSD, and methamphetamine.
Is this transparency good for the defense?
“You heard days of testimony from Craig Wood’s mother, father, and other people in his life. They referenced the terrific upbringing he had.
To explain something like this about what he has done, the defense needed to throw in something unusual. Something that can lead the jury to make sense of why someone would do an act like this.
You can’t rationalize something like this, but the defense needed to throw something in to try and explain why he would even consider something like this.”
Question: We have seen witnesses on stand from both sides, but the one person we haven’t heard from is Craig Wood himself. What are the odds of him taking the stand over the next couple of days?
“From a defense attorney’s perspective, this is a critical decision.”
“They know Craig Wood much better than any of us, and they know what kind of a public speaker he is. You definitely don’t want to put him on the stand if he is going to undo what you’ve worked to accomplish all trial.
There is a chance that some defendants just aren’t public speakers, or that they would say something that you can’t take back.
That’s why its such an important decision. They may wait until all of the witnesses are called forward to make that decision.”