A Purdy teenager who faces involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with a fatal crash, waived her right to a formal arraignment in Barry County Circuit Court on Monday.
Nicole Sienna Wood, 17, appeared in court with her attorney John Lewright, of Cassville. After waiving her arraignment, Wood was ordered to return to court on Jan. 18, 2011, at 9 a.m. Her bond of $15,000 was continued.
Wood was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol on May 23 following a traffic crash that occurred at 4:30 a.m. that morning on Highway 76 just west of Cassville. Jessica Pettingill, 17, was a passenger in the vehicle, and she was ejected when the vehicle Wood was driving ran off the highway and overturned. Pettingill, a Wheaton High School student, was pronounced dead at the crash site.
As required by state law, Wood, the driver of the vehicle, was tested for blood alcohol following the fatal crash, and Wood tested over the legal limit. Wood was charged with manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, no driver's license and failure to drive on the right half of the roadway.
Wood was first arraigned on the manslaughter charges on May 25 and pleaded not guilty. A preliminary hearing was conducted in Barry County Associate Circuit Court on June 17 and the case was bound over to Barry County Circuit Court after the judge determined there was probable cause to believe a crime had been committed.