A public defender for the suspect accused of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old Springfield, Missouri girl said at a hearing Friday that his client plans to plead not guilty.
Middle school substitute teacher, aide and football coach Craig Wood is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and armed criminal action in the shooting death of fourth-grader Hailey Owens.
Thousands are expected to attend a downtown candlelight vigil in her honor Saturday night.
Springfield Public School District Superintendent Norm Ridder released a statement saying the 45-year-old Wood has been employed by the district since 1998 as a paraprofessional and athletic coach at Pleasant View Middle School. Owens attended another school and the two apparently didn't know each other.