The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Friday, January 11, 2013
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
A former Franklin County deputy charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his ex-wife on Memorial Day 2011 in Roanoke pleaded "no contest"
to the murder charge Friday in Roanoke City Circuit Court.
Jonathan A. Agee, 33, also entered no contest pleas to charges of using a firearm in the commission of murder. A no contest plea is a form of a guilty plea.
Agee entered the pleas through a plea agreement, which also stipulated that two charges of shooting into an occupied vehicle would be dropped.
The agreement also left the amount of time Agee will serve to be decided by Circuit Court Judge Charlie Dorsey.
The judge ordered a presentence report be prepared on Agee prior to sentencing. A sentencing hearing date was not set.
The maximum sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison. The minimum sentence is 20 years. Using a firearm in the commission of murder carries a mandatory three-year sentence.
The shooting death of his ex-wife, Jennifer Louise Agee, 30, of Salem, occurred at a Sheetz in Roanoke on May 30.
In Montgomery County, Agee faces charges in connection with the shooting of Virginia State Police Sgt. Matt Brannock, who was shot in the thigh during a car chase on I-81 after the incident at Sheetz.
Agee is also charged with the unauthorized use of a Franklin County police vehicle.
On May 30, Agee allegedly drove a marked police vehicle into the Sheetz parking lot behind his ex-wife's vehicle, pulled a gun and shot her, according to Roanoke City Police. Jennifer Agee later died at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
After the shooting, Jonathan Agee allegedly left the parking lot and headed west on Route 460, where he was spotted by Brannock, who was traveling east on Route 460, according to state police. When Brannock turned around to follow the car, Agee allegedly activated the police car's lights and siren, and continued on Route 460.
Agee then took the off-ramp for I-81 at Exit 118, according to state police. Agee eventually stopped the vehicle on the side of the interstate at mile marker 125, where he allegedly shot Brannock.
Agee continued again on I-81, according to state police. He finally stopped on the Ironto exit ramp in Montgomery County, got out of the vehicle and allegedly engaged in a gun fight with two state police troopers who were pursuing him.
Agee was shot multiple times. Neither of the two troopers was injured.
Agee's trial in Montgomery County in connection with the shootout with state troopers is scheduled for March 4 in Montgomery County.
However, Betty Jo Anthony, deputy prosecutor in the Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Office, said the charges in Montgomery County against Agee could be consolidated with the charges in Roanoke for sentencing purposes.