Dear Sheriff Hunt:
I read with interest your laughable attempt in Monday’s Roanoke Times to cover your ass for your inept — and some might say criminal — handling of Franklin County Deputy Jonathan Agee’s murder of his ex-wife and shooting of a Virginia State Trooper.
Your attempts to justify an incredible level of stupidity on your part destroys what little remained of your credibility.
I can assure you that both myself and members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office did everything possible, with the information that we had at the time, to alert the appropriate authorities as to the situation regarding Mr. [Jonathan] Agee.
Really? Let’s look at the facts Sheriff Hunt.
Instead of putting out an area-wide “be on the lookout for” alert the minute your county’s 911 call center received the report that Agee — armed with a county-issued assault rifle — was on his way to Roanoke County to kill Jennifer Agee, your dispatch center sent you a text message.
You claim they did so “believing that I could expedite the process by alerting them to the situation so that they could respond accordingly.”
Oh come on Sheriff Hunt. No one with an IQ above that of an average plant believes that sending a text message is — by any shape or form — a way to “expedite the process.” Expediting the process would have been using the radio to immediately alert surrounding police departments that one of your deputies had gone off the reservation with a threat to kill someone.
So what did you do? You called the Salem PD and left a message for them to call back. When they did call back, they said you expressed no sense or urgency. You simply asked them to send a car over to Jennifer’s house.
Too late Sheriff Hunt. Your failure to act may have sealed her fate. We will never know if prompt action would have saved her life but wasn’t that life worth the effort?
You claim: “At no time did I cancel a be on the lookout, order for Mr. Agee.”
Really? Then why wasn’t one issued? Why didn’t you call your dispatch center and say something along the lines of “get a BOLO out right away you idiots before someone gets killed?”
No, Sheriff Hunt. Your actions were not proper, not prudent and certainly not professional. You didn’t want the area to know that one of your deputies posed a threat.
You say you and others tried to call him on the radio and his cell phone. Got a news flash for you Sheriff Hunt. Madmen on their way to kill someone don’t answer the radio or the phone. They have other things on the mind — like gunning down a woman in front of her daughter in a Sheetz parking lot.
You also say: “At no time did we ever have any indication that Mr. Agee was capable of such a horrific act.”
If that’s the level of your investigative capability Sheriff Hunt then we should fear for the safety of any resident of Franklin County or the surrounding area. I spent just one day in Franklin County last week and quickly learned that Agee’s erratic behavior had been a topic of conversation for months and that friends and family were worried about his behavior. I learned that Agee had anger management issues and he had threatened to harm his wife more than once.
And you didn’t address a really important issue Sheriff Hunt. Why was Jonathan Agee still on the job with access to a police car and an high-powered assault weapon? Why was the man once involved with what a Franklin County Grand Jury delicately called an “inappropriate relationship” with your underage daughter not in jail and listed on the Virginia State Police sexual offender database?
What kind of father puts protection of a sexual offender ahead of the welfare of his own child?
You conclude your escape from reality by stating:
This act of one person does not, and shall not, reflect badly upon the members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, who are the best law enforcement personnel in the commonwealth of Virginia; and, I am eternally grateful for their service to the citizens of Franklin County.
I’ve dealt with a lot of law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth Sheriff Hunt and I can say without hesitation that many, many others outrank what the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department has become under your bumbling brand of so-called leadership.
You are a disgrace to your uniform Sheriff Hunt, a disgrace to the badge you wear and a disgrace to the citizens of Franklin County.
Do everyone a favor Sheriff. Quit before you are removed from office because it will happen.