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Former Franklin County Sheriff Hunt admits mistake in May 2011 shootings, accepts plea deal

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 11 2013 09:54:26 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 09:59:49 PM EDT

Former Franklin County Sheriff Ewell Hunt admits he made mistakes in 2011 when former deputy Jonathan Agee shot and killed his ex-wife, Jennifer Agee. The former sheriff says his actions weren't criminal, but today he entered a plea in circuit court to resolve the case against him.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. -

Former Franklin County Sheriff Ewell Hunt has acknowledged mistakes, and donated $1,000 to a domestic violence shelter as part of a plea agreement in Franklin County.

Hunt had appealed his misdemeanor conviction for misconduct in office stemming from events on Memorial Day 2011, when former deputy Jonathan Agee shot and killed his ex-wife Jennifer.

Thursday morning Hunt entered an Alford Plea in Franklin County Circuit Court, asserting his innocence but stipulating the Commonwealth had enough evidence to convict him. The judge agreed to continue the matter for a year. The charge will be dismissed if Hunt is not charged with any additional crimes during that time.

In a statement released after the hearing, Hunt said, "I am glad that this matter has been resolved for all involved, and I look forward to when this charge is dismissed against me. As Sheriff, I always tried to do the best of my ability at all times. The events of Memorial Day 2011 will forever affect me and my family, as we continue to mourn for the loss of Jennifer Agee. While I acknowledge that mistakes were made by me and others as we tried to grasp what was occurring and prevent this tragedy from happening, I submit that my actions on that day were not criminal in nature. Throughout my law enforcement career, I always put the protection of my fellow citizens first. It goes without saying that I wish the events of that day had been different, and I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Jennifer Agee." Click here to see the statement.

Hunt also donated $1,000 to the Turning Point domestic violence shelter in Salem.

Jennifer Agee's mother, Diana Spain, attended the hearing. She said she was happy with the agreement. "Especially with the public acknowledgement," Spain said after the hearing. "That was the biggest thing."