Thursday, June 02, 2011

Affidavit reveals possible motive in woman’s death

A warrant says Jennifer Agee sent text messages to her ex-husband's wife alleging they were still in a relationship.

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Jennifer Agee planned to meet a friend on Memorial Day at a Roanoke convenience store, not the ex-husband who is accused of shooting her to death, the friend's mother said Wednesday.

Agee, 30, had come from her home in Salem so that her 12-year-old daughter could go swimming with the 10-year-old daughter of Agee's friend, Angel Brown, said Brown's mother, Judy Shively of Rocky Mount.

Shively, Brown and Brown's daughter had grown close to Agee during the five years Agee dated Shively's son -- Brown's brother -- after her divorce from Franklin County sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Agee. Shively's son, Matthew Norwood Dudley, died March 1.

Shively said her daughter watched in horror Monday as Agee's former husband drove up in his Franklin County patrol car as Jennifer Agee was getting out of her vehicle in the Sheetz parking lot on Orange Avenue.

Jonathan Agee emerged with an assault rifle and opened fire, police said. He faces a murder charge in Jennifer Agee's death, and likely other charges tied to the wounding of state police Sgt. Matthew Brannock during a long pursuit that ended when troopers shot Jonathan Agee on the Ironto off-ramp from Interstate 81.

A search warrant affidavit filed Wednesday in Franklin County Circuit Court suggests a motive in Jennifer Agee's killing.

Jonathan Agee

Jonathan Agee

Jennifer Agee

Jennifer Agee


Virginia State Police investigators said Julia Angell, a Roanoke sheriff's deputy who married Jonathan Agee after his divorce from Jennifer Agee, told them that she recently overheard "very heated" arguments between the former spouses on the telephone.

Julia Angell also said "she had received a number of text messages from Jennifer Agee recently advising her of an ongoing relationship between Jonathan Agee and his former wife," the warrant said.

The warrant echoed an account given in a Franklin County Sheriff's Office radio log, saying that on Monday, Angell called 911 to report that Jonathan Agee had taken an assault rifle from the gun safe at their home in Boones Mill and left in his patrol car, saying he was going to kill his ex-wife.

Shively said she can't believe Jennifer Agee wanted to resume a relationship with her ex-husband, whom she was battling over custody of their two daughters. One girl was living with each parent.

"The arguing would be over the children," Shively said. As for suggestions of some sort of renewed intimacy, "That don't sound right," Shively said.

Court records in Franklin County show that Jennifer Agee owed her ex-husband $24,030 for child support that was to have been paid between August 2007 and November 2010.

Sgt. Rob Carpentieri, a state police spokesman, declined to elaborate on the search warrant.

Police seized papers and a computer from Jonathan Agee and Angell's home.

Video: Police provide details of violent day

Video by Ryan Loew | The Roanoke Times

Shively said she is trying to make sense of the abrupt loss of her son, then her son's girlfriend. Dudley, an electrician at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and Agee, who recently worked back-to-back shifts at Elizabeth Arden and Mac and Bob's restaurant in Salem, were good together, she said.

When Dudley teased Agee about no one being able to cook like his mother, Agee let Shively show her how she made gravy, Shively said. Agee often stayed at Dudley's home in Rocky Mount for a few days before returning to Salem, where she lived with her mother, Shively said.

Funeral services set

  • Funeral services for Jennifer Louise Carter Agee will be Friday at 11 a.m. at John M. Oakey & Son Funeral and Cremation Service in Salem. Burial will follow at East Hill Cemetery, Salem.
  • Visitation will be today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

"She was good to Matt. She was a good person," Shively said.

Dudley suffered from depression. His father had taken his own life, and on March 1, Dudley, 39, went to the cemetery where his father is buried and shot himself in the head, Shively said.

When she heard about it, Agee "went to pieces" with the rest of the family, Shively said.

In the months since Dudley's death, Agee didn't come to Rocky Mount as much, Shively said. But she kept in touch by phone. Shively said she last spoke to Agee about a week ago.

Agee had been upset recently about her children's custody.

"She wanted her babies back," Shively said.

And Agee told Shively's daughter that she feared her former husband, Shively said.

"She said, 'Angel, he's going to kill me,' " Shively said.

Staff writer Janelle Rucker contributed to this report.

Map: From Roanoke to Ironto, via Christiansburg

Police say Jonathan Agee fled the scene of his ex-wife's killing in Roanoke Monday and headed west on U.S. 460, toward Christiansburg. A state trooper caught his trail along the way. Here's how police say the rest of the day unfolded.

View Police: Off-duty Franklin Co. deputy kills ex-wife, injures state trooper after long-range pursuit in a larger map

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