Parents Sue Accused Child Killer

The parents of a 10 year-old girl who was kidnapped and murdered last month have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her accused killer, according to Courthouse News.
Hailey Owens of Springfield, MO was kidnapped as she was walking home on Feb. 18. Her body was found the next day at Craig Michael Wood’s residence. The cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head, according to the lawsuit. Wood, a substitute teacher and football coach, was arrested and charged with Hailey’s murder.
Hailey’s parents, Stacey Barfield and Marcus Owens, sued Wood in Greene County Circuit Court. They are seeking punitive damages for wrongful death.
They are also seeking damages for the fright and anxiety Hailey suffered before her death, and for funeral expenses and loss of consortium.
“This has not only been a tragedy for our community and nation, but it has been tragic by many more folds for Hailey’s parents and family,” plaintiffs’ attorney David Ransin told Courthouse News.
“This has had an unimaginable affect on them, which is why they sought my help, so they can have some kind of temporary calm and peace that their rights are being protected through this process.”
Wood is represented by a public defender, despite evidence of a $1 million trust in his name. Prosecutors are challenging Wood’s use of a public defender. Circuit Judge Dan Imhof said he would consider the matter.
Ransin said he prefers to take a pro-active approach in pursuing this type of case. “Some people would wait until the criminal process is done,” Ransin said. “I say it is better to get going early, because you have the power of the court for discovery.”