Football coach pleads not guilty in girl’s death

FILE - In this file photo provided by the Greene County, Mo., Jail is Craig Michael Wood. The middle-school football coach, accused in the kidnapping and killing of a 10-year-old Hailey Owens in Springfield, Mo., plans to plead not guilty, his public defender said in a brief hearing Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Greene County Jail, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri youth football coach accused of kidnapping, raping and killing a 10-year-old girl has pleaded not guilty

Forty-six-year-old Craig Michael Wood appeared Thursday in Greene County Circuit Court in Springfield. A preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday was delayed until May 22.

Wood is accused of abducted Hailey Owens while she walked home from her best friend’s house, just two blocks from her own home. Shocked neighbors reported watching the abduction and unsuccessfully giving chase as Hailey was pulled into a pickup truck that sped away. She was found dead hours later in the basement of Wood’s home.

The Springfield News-Leader ( ) reports that the judge granted a request made by prosecutors earlier this week to add rape and sodomy charges in response to recently released autopsy results.

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