Friday, 21 February 2014 12:47 Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - The lawyer for a middle-school football coach who's accused of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl in Missouri says Craig Wood is planning to plead not guilty. The public defender's announcement came during a brief hearing today.
Wood is accused of snatching Hailey Owens as she walked home from a friend's house Tuesday evening in Springfield. Court records indicate her body was found in Wood's basement. Prosecutors say she was shot in the back of the head and that she had ligature marks on her wrists, suggesting she was tied up.
Public defender Chris Hatley said Wood plans to contest the charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action.
Wood appeared by video from a jail where he is being held without bond. He spoke only briefly to answer several questions from the judge. Hailey's parents, older brother and five other family members attended the hearing.
A prosecutor challenged Wood's use of a public defender, saying police found evidence of a $1 million trust in Wood's name. He said, "I think he can afford his own attorney." The defense attorney replied that "it's frankly none of his business." The judge said he would consider the matter.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 16:25 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have passed legislation that would send federal agents to jail for enforcing some federal gun laws.
The Senate voted 23-10 on Thursday to send the measure to the House. It would declare any federal law considered by the state to infringe on gun rights to be null and void in Missouri. Federal agents enforcing those laws could face up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Courts have consistently ruled that states cannot nullify federal laws. But supporters argue the measure is necessary to protect law-abiding gun owners from intrusive federal regulations. Opponents say it wouldn't survive a court challenge.
Earlier this week, the Senate stripped a provision from the legislation requiring gun thefts to be reported within 72 hours.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 16:23 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Senate committee has advanced legislation on student transfers and unaccredited school districts, clearing the way for debate by the full chamber.
The Senate Education Committee endorsed the bill Thursday. Committee Chairman David Pearce, a Republican from Warrensburg, says the vote is a huge step.
Numerous bills have been filed this year to address struggling school districts and a state law requiring unaccredited districts to pay tuition and transportation costs for students who transfer to a nearby accredited school. The law has led to financial problems for unaccredited districts and concerns among accredited schools about the number of transfers they must accept.
Students have transferred during the current academic year out of St. Louis County's unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts. The Kansas City district is also unaccredited.