The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
A former Franklin County deputy pleaded "no contest" Tuesday in Montgomery County Circuit Court to attempted capital murder, aggravated malicious wounding, using a firearm in the commission of a felony and eluding police.
The no contest pleas by Jonathan Ashley Agee, 33, stemmed from the shooting of Virginia State Police Sgt. Matt Brannock during a car chase on I-81 after Agee shot and killed his ex-wife at a Sheetz in Roanoke on May 30, 2011.
Montgomery County Commonwealth's Attorney Mary Pettitt said Agee pleaded no contest to all the charges against him, except one. The commonwealth dropped a second charge of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
By pleading no contest, Agee did not have to admit that he committed the crime, but he agreed that the prosecution had enough evidence to convict him of the charges. It is still a form of a guilty plea in terms of sentencing.
Agee could receive two life sentences on the attempted capital murder and aggravated malicious wounding charges, Pettitt said.
Agee will be sentenced in Roanoke Circuit Court on May 6 on all the charges he faces in Montgomery County and Roanoke, Pettitt said.
On Jan. 11, Agee pleaded "no contest" to first-degree murder in the shooting death of his ex-wife on Memorial Day 2011 in Roanoke City Circuit Court. He also entered a no contest plea to a charge of using a firearm in the commission of murder.
Agee entered the pleas through an agreement with the prosecution in Roanoke, which also stipulated that two charges of shooting into an occupied vehicle would be dismissed.
The agreement left the amount of time Agee will serve to be decided by Judge Charlie Dorsey. The judge ordered a presentence report prior to sentencing.
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 Agee's ex-wife, Jennifer Louise Agee, 30, of Salem occurred at a Sheetz in Roanoke on May 30, 2011, when Jonathan Agee 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 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 the 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 the state police. Agee eventually stopped the vehicle on the side of the interstate at mile marker 125, where he shot Brannock.
Agee continued again on I-81. He finally stopped on the Ironto exit ramp in Montgomery County, got out of the vehicle and engaged in a gun fight with two state police troopers who were pursuing him.
Agee was shot multiple times in the gun fight, but neither of the two troopers was injured.