Wood pleads not guilty in death of parents, friend
by Stanley Nelson - posted Wednesday, May 16th, 2007 @ 3:23 pm
Connor Wood -- accused of killing his mother, father and friend on March 14, 2007 -- pled not guilty to three counts of first degree murder this morning (Wednesday) in Seventh Judicial District Court in Vidalia.
Quietly answering "not guilty" to each count, Wood sat at the defense table with his attorney, Paul Lempke of Harrisonburg, and was in the courtroom for less than 10 minutes. His head shaven, the 15-year-old wore a prison jumpsuit and was shackled.
He's accused of the murder of his parents, Geraldine Trevillion Wood, 40, and John David Wood, 42, and friend Matthew Whittington, 16. All were shot multiple times. The murders occurred at Wood's home at 119 Shady Lane in the Woodland subdivision in Ferriday.
On the other side of the courtroom room, sitting on the front row, the parents of 16-year-old Matthew Whittington watched the defendant throughout the proceeding. Whittington's mother, Judy, held a framed photograph of her son, raising and pointing it in the direction of Wood as he was escorted from the courtroom.
Both Wood and Whittington had been longtime friends and Wood had been a guest in the Whittington home, located near the Wood residence, on many occasions.
Judge Leo Boothe presided and will hear the case. Preliminary proceedings are scheduled in July.
First Asst. Dist. Atty. Brad Burget is handling the case. Dist. Atty. John Johnson joined him in the courtroom this morning.
The case is attracting national media attention.
Wood was indicted by the parish grand Jury last week, and will be tried as an adult. He's being held at the parish correctional facility under a $900,000 bond.
Wood notified the Sheriff's Office through the 911 communications system of the shootings at 3:41 a.m. March 14, 2007, reporting that an intruder killed his parents and he killed the intruder. His story reportedly changed as the investigation moved through its early stages.