Teen to face public trial, possible life sentence in jail

Published 3:21 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Connor Wood is now considered an adult by the Concordia Parish courts.

The 15-year-old arrested last week and charged with three counts of first-degree murder was declared an adult during a magistrate hearing Monday morning.

His bond was set at $900,000.

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He is being housed in a Concordia Parish correctional facility.

Wood was arrested Wednesday after calling 911 to report the shooting deaths of his parents, John and Jerri Wood, and his friend, 16-year-old Matt Whittington.

Wood reportedly first told authorities Whittington had broken in and killed the Wood couple. He then allegedly changed his story saying he and Whittington had plotted to kill Wood’s parents together.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, District Attorney John Johnson said, and he would not reveal details of the case.

“The nature of the charges requires a grand jury indictment,” Johnson said. “The next step will be to go before the grand jury.”

Johnson would not comment on when a grand jury may hear the case.

If the grand jury returns an indictment, Wood will be arraigned. He will have to plead either guilty or not guilty. From there, the case would go through the system, Johnson said.

Even though Wood is being tried as an adult, he will not be subject to the death penalty, Johnson said. A previous court case sets a precedent that juveniles cannot be subject to the death penalty.

The maximum sentence would be life in prison.

Judge Kathy Johnson presided over Monday’s hearing. She could not be reached for comment.