Ewell Hunt Found Guilty of Misconduct - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Ewell Hunt Found Guilty of Misconduct

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"I called because Jonathan was leaving the house and I thought he was going to kill his ex-wife," says Jonathan Agee's wife Julia Agee.

She was one of the few people who talked to former Franklin County Sheriff Ewell Hunt on May 28, 2012.

"When sheriff called his dispatch, and he is the captain of the ship, and said, 'I will take care of it,' all those people knew he was going to take care of it," said the General District Judge. "He is the head man and as such he tells people what to do and what not to do. I think Sheriff Hunt is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based on his inactions, not insuring a "be on the lookout" was put out."

Hunt's attorney Bill Stanley told us months ago this was to be Hunt's day in court to prove he did the right thing. While the judge disagreed, Hunt's attorney is happy no criminal intent was found.

"What we did demonstrate today is there is no evidence of criminal intent of Sheriff Hunt to commit the crime he was charged with," Stanley says.

Special prosecutor Mike Doucette says both he and Jennifer Agee's family are pleased with the ruling.

"Their position from the start has been they have wanted some public acknowledgement what the sheriff did was wrong, they didn't get that from him, but they have gotten it from the judge saying, 'Sheriff what you did was wrong,'" Doucette says.

Stanley says this is just the start, and that his client will still have his chance to prove otherwise.

"Ewell is a good man. He did nothing criminally wrong, no intent, no criminal intent, and I think that will be proven," Stanley says.

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7:22 p.m.

Former Franklin County Sheriff Ewell Hunt will appeal his misdemeanor misconduct in office conviction to circuit court, Hunt's attorney, Bill Stanley, confirmed.

A general district court judge convicted Hunt late Tuesday afternoon, sentencing him to a $500 fine, and a 30-day suspended jail sentence.

The judge found Hunt was the "captain of the ship," and made too many mistakes the day his former deputy, Jonathan Agee, is accused of gunning down his ex-wife, Jennifer Agee, on Memorial Day in 2011.

Agee is also accused of shooting state trooper Matt Brannock in the leg in Montgomery County.

Hunt declined comment after the hearing, as did Jennifer Agee's family members.

Several Franklin County sheriff's office dispatchers testified it was well known that they could not give out any information, including to outside law enforcement authorities, without Hunt's approval.

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5:17 p.m.

The judge found Ewell Hunt guilty of misconduct.

Hunt will have to pay a $500 fine, and the judge suspended a 30-day jail sentence.

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3:30 p.m.

Update: So far we've heard more from Franklin County dispatchers on why they felt like they couldn't give out any information to law enforcement without Hunt's permission.

Hunt's attorney countered that was an unwritten policy that was originally implemented during Quint Overton's long-time reign as sheriff.

Noon

From Scott Leamon, at the courthouse:

Day one of the bench trial for former Franklin County Sheriff Ewell Hunt saw the defense present its argument for what caused a delay in relaying a death threat to other agencies, and what was on parts of 911 tapes from the Memorial Day 2011 shootings that had been previously withheld from the public.

The dispatcher who took the initial call from former Franklin County Deputy Jonathan Agee's wife, Julia Angel, testified that Angel claimed Agee was on his way to kill his ex-wife Jennifer Agee.

Hunt's attorney, Bill Stanley, claims after that call, there was a miscommunication in the dispatch office that led to no other police agency being notified for a while.

The full 911 tapes from the day of the shootings were then played. Previously, a portion of the tapes had been withheld for fear public disclosure may interfere with the investigation of the case.

On the previously unaired portion, Jonathan Agee can be heard calling his home, after Jennifer was shot and killed at the Sheetz across from the Roanoke Civic Center. Franklin County Sheriff's deputies are there, and listen in on the call. Agee can be heard saying that he shot Jennifer, and wants to know if one of his daughters, who was with Jennifer, is ok.

Another portion of the 911 tapes that had been previously not released, revealed a call Agee made to a friend who is a Rocky Mount Police officer. Agee can be heard telling the officer that he will only turn himself into him, and that his friend will have to shoot him.

Court is on a lunch break until 1:00 p.m.