Former Franklin County Deputy Sentenced for Murder of Ex-Wife
Roanoke, VA - After a day and half of testimony and arguments, a Roanoke judge sentenced a former Franklin County deputy to three consecutive life terms plus 11 years in prison on Wednesday.
The judge did not accept Jonathan Agee's defense of being blackmailed by his ex-wife Jennifer and "roid rage."
Nevertheless he wanted to hear all the evidence before making his decision.
Judge Charlie Dorsey gave Agee a lengthy lecture before he announced the verdict.
After the verdict, sobs from both sides filled the room. In the courtroom there were no winners, just broken families.
No victory as Jennifer Agee's family leaves the courthouse not long after the man that used to be a part of that family was ordered to serve multiple life sentences.
"It was an unprecedented act of violence in the City of Roanoke. It was a cold blooded execution of an unarmed woman, in broad daylight. Not quite at high noon but pretty close," said Don Caldwell, Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney.
Agee isn't the only one with a life sentence.
Unknown numbers from Jennifer's family got one when they lost Jennifer.
Matthew Brannock's family got one. The former State Trooper himself lives with the guilt of not returning fire that day.
"Mr. Brannock, there was a coward on that interstate that day, but it most certainly was not you," said Judge Dorsey.
The children who saw Jennifer murdered that day - they got one too.
"His selfish, narcissistic, violent behavior changed her life forever," said Mary Pettitt, Montgomery County Commonwealth's Attorney
And so did the Agee family.
In the end, the judge didn't buy the excuses of domestic issues, blackmail and steroids. He said none of those matters in sentencing and none of them justify murder anyway.
Everyone talks about closure at the end of a criminal proceeding, but what we are learning here is that closure just begins at the end of the process.
"I think what people will define it as will vary based on who you talked to. But for me personally, I think it will be years down the line before I can classify the recovery as closure," said Brannock.
Jonathan Agee will spend at least the 26 years in prison at which time he is eligible for geriatric parole. However, the Commonwealth asked specifically for these life sentences to run consecutively, as a sign to the future parole board of the sheer magnitude of this crime; a reflection of the victim's families who want to see Agee stay in jail for as long as possible.