Judge Finds Former Franklin County Sheriff Guilty of Misconduct - WSET.com - ABC13

Judge Finds Former Franklin County Sheriff Guilty of Misconduct


Rocky Mount, VA – The judge found of former Franklin County Sheriff Ewell Hunt guilty of misconduct Tuesday.

Hunt is charged with misconduct by an elected official, which is a misdemeanor. He will have to pay $500. He also got 30 days in jail but all were suspended.

This all stems from an incident last Memorial Day when his former deputy Jonathan Agee allegedly killed his ex-wife Jennifer.

The witness list had nearly two dozen people, who one by one came to the stand to talk about their role on that fateful day.

The family of Jennifer Agee listened to every word as Agee sat in the front row next to special prosecutor Mike Doucette, assigned from Lynchburg.

At stake more than anything is Hunt's reputation - a long serving law enforcement officer who has repeatedly said he did everything he could that day with the information he had in 24 critical minutes.

The whole case seemed to hinge on two specific issues that are more about inaction than action. The first involved an order by the shift commander to immediately notify Salem and Roanoke County, after Agee's wife called to tell them Agee was heading to Salem to kill his ex-wife. But Hunt told dispatchers he would take care of it himself instead. Less than 15 minutes later, Agee was dead-shot with an AK-47.

The prosecutor also pressed hard on the fact that everyone, including law enforcement, was having trouble getting information from Franklin County as Agee raced toward Roanoke.

In court, the defense pointed out dispatchers assumed that Hunt gave that order:

"You said, 'Sheriff Hunt told us not to release the information', and that's not true... was it? Asked Bill Stanley, the defense attorney.

"That was, I guess, a mischoice of words that I said," responded Francis Gaye Bryant with Franklin County dispatch.

"Over and over, mischoice of words. You say it a number of times," said Stanley.

The defense also tried to prove that it was dispatchers that made that call based on policy that went back before Hunt's tenure and not on Hunt's order.

"That's a policy our center has gone by for the time that I've been here," said Bryant.

"An unwritten policy?" asked Stanley.

"It's just something that we do. It's just something on a routine normal basis that we do."

"So my question is: Is it a written or unwritten policy?"

"I guess it's an unwritten policy because it is something we've been doing for years."

Agee is set to go on trial for murder in January.

We'll have reaction to the verdict on ABC 13 News at 11.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSET. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.