The alleged mastermind behind a murder and a bombing was put to death on this day in 1992.
The first execution in Wyoming since the ’60s was set aside for Mark Hopkinson. He was convicted of murdering a lawyer and his family after he lost a court case over water rights.
Heated water dispute
Vincent Vehar, Beverly Vehar and John Vehar were blown to bits after a bomb was planted at their home. This was a revenge attack after the Hopkinson family took on another family and a water board over water supplies. They lost on both counts to Vincent Vehar who was the attorney for both sets of opposition.
The plot thickens
Fair means had failed. So Hopkinson turned to foul methods to exact his revenge. And his plot included Jeffrey Green among others. Together they explored explosive ways to get back at the lawyer. But Green got caught with a bomb while speeding in his car.
Hopkinson bailed him out, but that act immediately linked the murderer to Green. So when the Vehar’s house blew up and the net started closing in, the police turned to Green for information. He folded and confessed what he knew. As a result, Hopkinson was apprehended.
Green would have been the prosecution’s star witness, had he lived to see Hopkinson’s trial. But he mysteriously disappeared, apparently on orders from Hopkinson, who was banged up at the time. Green’s carved-up body was found just two days before the Vehar inquiry opened.
With the circumstantial evidence and monies that changed hands following Green’s death, the jury found Hopkinson guilty. He was sentenced to be executed by lethal injection and, so far, the 42-year-old remains the only person to have been subject to the death penalty in Wyoming, since the 1960s.