By Bobby Harrison | NEMS Daily Journal Jackson Bureau
JACKSON – The early release of William Francis, convicted of felony fleeing in the death of Guntown Trooper Steve Hood, has been denied by the Mississippi Parole Board.
Lisa Hood confirmed Saturday that she had received a letter from the five-member Parole Board simply stating that the man who fled from her husband in May 2009, ensuing a police chase, had been denied early release.
In early December, Lisa Hood appeared before the Parole Board in opposition to the early release of Francis, 27, who Hood, a 27-year Mississippi Highway Patrol veteran was in pursuit of when he lost control of his patrol vehicle and was killed near his Guntown home. Francis pleaded guilty to felony fleeing in the trooper’s death and was sentenced in 2010 to 40 years in prison with 33 years suspended.
“I am definitely glad to get this behind me,” said Lisa Hood of receiving the letter. “It is a big relief to know he will still be there for a while.”
She added, “I hope it is an example for others who try to disobey the law that there is a punishment.”
The Mississippi State Trooper Association also was active in opposing the early release, sending letters to the Parole Board stating its opposition.
Col. Donnell Berry, chief of the MHP, attended the Parole Board hearing in December with Hood and two of her children. One child was working and was unable to attend.
Hood said she appreciated the support of the troopers and was appreciative of the Parole Board for listening to her concerns.
The parole denial was reported on the Trooper Association website. According to the web page, Francis will be eligible for parole again in October 2013.