UPDATE: Man pleads not guilty in fatal patrol-chase case

William Francis of Baldwyn pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter by culpable negligence, from a May 29 high-speed chase that ended in a fatal accident for veteran Highway Patrol Master Sgt. Steve Hood of Guntown.

Francis, 25, appeared in court Wednesday.

Hood, a 28-year-veteran of the patrol, was killed while pursuing a vehicle on Highway 370 at Brice’s Crossroads west of Baldwyn. His car flipped several times, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lee County Coroner Carolyn Gillentine said Hood died of multiple trauma due to motor vehicle accident with extensive injuries, which made it hard to pinpoint the exact cause of death.

While Francis was charged as the driver of the vehicle Hood was pursuing, no charges were made against passengers in his vehicle.

NEMS Daily Journal