The preliminary hearing for the man accused of killing 10 year-old Hailey Owens has been rescheduled for May 22nd after Judge Mark Powell allowed prosecutors to amended charges to include statutory rape and sodomy charges against Craig Michael Wood.
Greene County prosecutor Dan Patterson filed a supplemental probable cause statement on Monday (04-21-14) to have the charges amended to include the sex charges. Wood's attorney, Patrick Berrigan, told the court that simply was not enough time for him to prepare for the hearing.
Berrigan took issue with the fact that an autopsy on the little girl was completed on February 20th but Patterson waited until days before the preliminary hearing to file the amended charges. Medical examiners say Hailey had been sexually assaulted.
"No explanation whatsoever has be proffered as to why the State waited until three days before the scheduled preliminary hearing to attempt to add new felony charges based on information available to the prosecution for over two months now," he wrote.
Hailey was kidnapped off a street in broad daylight on February 18th. Her remains were found in two trash bags stuffed in a plastic tote in the basement of Wood's home within several hours of her disappearance. Autopsy results indicate she had been shot in the head. Bleach bottles were scattered on the floor of the basement, according to court documents.
Wood was arrested as he returned to his house from a nearby laundromat where he had taken bedding and clothing to be laundered.
Earlier this week Judge Powell ruled that four SPD officers who were subpoenaed by the defense to testify would not be able to because they were not properly served. Patterson told the court that subpoena's are routinely served to a desk sergeant or other representatives of the PD who personally delivers them to personnel called to court. State law says witnesses must be personally served.
One of the next motion's expected to be filed in this case is one for a change of venue, which will be granted due to the extensive media coverage this case has garnered.
Hailey's family is advocating lawmakers to make changed to the Amber Alert system. Stacy Barfield, Hailey's mom, believes it took too long for authorities to issue the alert because of the cumbersome paperwork requried and technical glitches that hindered the alert from being issued faster.