In a case that blended murder and greed, millionaire Newport Beach developer Jim Hood was declared a menace to society and sent to jail after police say he hired a man to kill his wife. Bruce E. Beauchamp, a former Hood employee in the development business, was shot to death on March 22, 1992, and Hood was convicted of first-degree murder in December.
But Hood protested his innocence and claimed he shot the hit man in self-defense. The case was notable in that jurors were asked to decide between competing animated reenactments of the alleged hit man's slaying offered by each side.
Investigators originally pinned the crime on a local rancher who had a grudge against Bonnie Hood. But they soon uncovered a shocking direct connection between the victim and the perpetrator. Beauchamp worked construction for Hood and had a close relationship with the family that owned the Sierra Nevada lodge where his killing took place.
Hood, who was Mississippi's only statewide elected Democrat until losing the 2018 governor's race to Republican Tate Reeves, now runs his own firm that specializes in branding, packaging and book design. But he still makes regular trips to Jackson for his job as the state's attorney general. During his last trip to the capital, he spoke about the challenges that lie ahead in the state. He said that although he will move his office three hours north of Jackson in Houston he will continue to make regular commutes to the capital.