Posted: Jun 14, 2010 6:16 AM by Matt Stafford
Updated: Jun 14, 2010 6:14 AM
A Colorado Springs man who planned the murder of his wife, and later escaped from prison, is up for parole.
The District Attorney who prosecuted the case in the early 1990s is now our state Attorney General. John Suthers thinks Brian Hood is lucky to get a parole hearing.
The Otis Park Community Center in Colorado Springs is where in September of 1990, Dianne Hood was shot and killed while leaving a lupus support group.
Two days later, Jennifer Reali confessed to the murder, and that she had been having an affair with the Dianne's husband, Brian Hood. Both were convicted of crimes related to the murder, but Brian Hood could be released this month. He has his first parole hearing June 23, 2010.
"It was a terrible crime, his wife was murdered in cold blood," says Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, remembering the case his office prosecuted.
Suthers' office got a first-degree murder conviction on Reali, and as part of a deal they didn't seek the death penalty in exchange for her testimony against Brian.
Brian was acquitted of murder, but convicted of criminal solicitation and murder conspiracy. Suthers calls that Hood's lucky break.
"It's pretty difficult to find somebody guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and not find them guilty of first degree murder," Suthers says.
Attorney Pat Mika defended Hood. He told News First 5 that he, as well as members of Dianne Hood's family, still maintains Brian's innocence.
Hood was sentenced to 37 years in prison. Suthers says, in his opinion, Hood should not be paroled this time around.
"He (Hood) was the mastermind behind the whole thing and I would not think it appropriate if he was out walking the streets while Jennifer Reali was still in prison," explains Suthers.
Suthers says several factors play into a parole hearing. He adds that looking at behavior records in prison, Reali has been a model prisoner, Hood on the other hand escaped in 1997 and had to be recaptured.