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WARRENSBURG, Mo. - A former Anchorage man was arraigned today on 14 criminal charges in the shooting deaths of his wife and four of his children.
Raymond E. Wood said he was just ``starting to understand what happened'' a day earlier.
``My wife is innocent,'' Wood, 36, said in response to questions as he left the Johnson County Courthouse. ``My children are innocent and beautiful.''
Wood was shackled as he was led to the courthouse under tight security. Besides the four dead children, two young daughters were wounded.
Wood grew up in Anchorage and his wife grew up in Fairbanks. They lived for a time in Anchorage. It's not clear when they moved to Missouri.
Wood was held under $2 million bond after his arraignment before Associate Judge Steve Angle on five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and seven counts of armed criminal action. The murder charges are punishable upon conviction by death or life in prison without chance of parole or probation.
Wood was subdued in court, answering just ``Yes'' or ``No'' to most questions from the judge. When the judge told him he would need an attorney, he replied, ``I say appoint one.'' A public defender was appointed.
The dead were identified as Tina Wood, 31, and her sons Jared, 10, and Joshua, 8, and daughters Emily, 7, and Hannah, 5. The other children, Moriah, 3, and Catlin, 1, were transferred to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City hospital for treatment and were expected to survive. A hospital spokesman said this morning Moriah was in critical condition and Catlin was in fair condition.
Maj. Randy L. Vick of the Johnson County Sheriff's Department said when he arrived Monday morning at the scene of the shooting - an isolated area along a dirt road four miles east of Warrensburg - he found Wood standing in the driveway with his parents, who live near the bunker-style home where the victims lived.
Vick said he found Tina Wood ``in a van that was driven into an embankment by a nearby creek.''
``After signing the Miranda warning form, Raymond Wood then told us that he had shot Tina Wood, Jared Wood, Emily Wood, Moriah Wood, Catlin Wood, Hannah Wood and Joshua Wood with a rifle,'' Vick said.
``It was horrible,'' Patricia Leighter, the chief dispatcher for the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, said Monday. ``There were kids found in the house, in the yard, one at the edge of the woods. They were shot with some kind of rifle.''