Bond set for suspect in Miss. trooper’s death

Published 1:02 pm Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bond has been set at $1 million for a 25-year-old Baldwyn man charged with felony fleeing and manslaughter following a pursuit that killed a state trooper in northeast Mississippi.

Bond was set Monday during William A. Francis’ initial appearance in Lee County Justice Court. Francis was returned to the county jail.

Authorities said Master Sgt. Steve Hood’s car left the highway Friday and hit a tree near Brice’s Crossroads Military Park near the border of Lee County and Prentiss County. Funeral services were held Monday in Tupelo.

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Authorities said Francis led authorities on a chase in a car modified for racing after driving westbound on Mississippi Highway 370. Francis was arrested Saturday.

Friends remembered Hood, 50, on Monday as a man with a hearty laugh and a deep devotion to God. Hundreds gathered at Harrisburg Baptist Church for Hood’s funeral, including his colleagues, law enforcement officials from across the state, Gov. Haley Barbour and troopers from Arkansas and Alabama.

The Rev. David Langerfeld remembered Hood as a positive influence in his life.

“I always enjoyed being around Steve,” he said, recalling his infectious laughter. “You could hear him (laughing) from miles away. When he laughed, we laughed.”