Ewell Hunt, who lost a bid for re-election last year to Bill Overton, has been charged with misconduct in office stemming from a Memorial Day 2011 shooting rampage believed to have been committed by one of his former deputies.
Hunt has been charged under common law, or law that hasn’t been codified by the Virginia General Assembly, said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.
Almost a half-hour before Jennifer Carter Agee was shot to death in the parking lot of a Sheetz convenience store in Roanoke on Memorial Day 2011, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office was warned that her sheriff’s deputy ex-husband, Jonathan Agee, had a rifle and was driving to Salem to kill her.
But Hunt told his dispatch center not to issue a “be on the lookout” alert to other law enforcement agencies, saying he would take care of the situation himself, according to a sheriff’s office radio call log. He ordered a dispatcher “not to mention anything,” that log shows.
This murder, and his actions relating to it, are what ultimately cost Hunt his reelection bid. The surviving family has already accepted a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against him. Now he will have a permanent mark on his record that will hopefully keep him out of any kind of law enforcement forever.
The charge is a Class 1 Misdemeanor – I’m not sure if that’s an upper limit because it’s not statutory law, or some other reason – which is punishable by jail for no more than 12 months and up to a $2,500 fine. It’s not real justice for the results of this man’s actions, but it is something.
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[Source: Roanoke Times article, retrieved 6/1/12]