Courtroom moved to tears when hearing about the impact of Hailey Owens' murder from family and friends

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. Another emotional day in court, Friday, during what is now the penalty phase of the trial for a convicted child murderer.

Craig Wood, the former Springfield schools coach and teacher's aide, was convicted just Thursday of first degree murder for killing 10 year-old Hailey Owens in 2014.

Friday started with opening statements. There were arguments from attorneys supporting why Wood should die and why he should live.

However, it was what people who were closest to Owens said that moved everyone to tears.

Wood's legal team didn't want the jury to hear how Owens murder impacted the community. The judge allowed it.

"It just shifted, I think, the way people of Springfield see Springfield. Countless parents say they don't let their kids play in the front yard now, unless they're around and there. They think a lot harder before they let their kids walk to school or to a friend's house," said Pastor Pat Findley of Ridgecrest Baptist.

Owens' teacher, Tara Tharp, described how her classmates tried to cope.

"I didn't know what I was supposed to do. We can't just go and teach math, just go and do a reading class. Hailey's not there, can't act like it didn't happen," she said.

Owens' aunt, Chandra Calhoun tried to talk about her while holding back tears.

"I wake up everyday and think about that little girl and what she could have been. Everyday I have to try to explain to her brother why he doesn't get to see his sister anymore and explain to him that everybody in this world is a bad person," she said.

By the late afternoon, it was the defense teams turn to call on Wood's supporters. They started with his father, Jim Wood.

"I cannot describe to anyone how terrible I felt at the death of Hailey. It was a crushing thing to me," he said.

He is determined to stand by his son.

"No parent can ever abandon their child no matter what awful thing they may have done in their life," he said.

The defense just got started.

It's not typical for court to be in session on the weekends but the jury will continue to hear from people supporting Wood Saturday.

A decision on whether Wood should be put to death or spend the rest of his life in jail, with no chance of getting out, is expected sometime next week.