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Ex-sheriff faces 2nd wrongful death lawsuit in Va.

Friday - 5/18/2012, 3:48pm  ET

ROANOKE, Va. - Former Franklin County Sheriff Ewell Hunt is facing another wrongful death lawsuit.

The mother of a 19-year-old man shot to death in 2010 claims Hunt and two of his deputies failed to heed an informant's tip that might have prevented the death.

The Roanoke Times reports ( http://bit.ly/JTd3vl) Wanda English filed the $5.35 million lawsuit in Franklin County Circuit Court on Wednesday. Jeremiah Lee Stump was sentenced last year to life for shooting her son, Chad English. She claims an informant sent text message and phone calls to the sheriff's department saying Stump planned to kill her son.

In September, Hunt and former deputy Jonathan Agee were named in a $20 million lawsuit stemming from the death of Agee's ex-wife, Jennifer Agee.

Jonathan Agee is accused of killing his ex-wife and shooting a state trooper. The lawsuit claims Hunt did not warn authorities that his deputy was armed and had threatened to kill Jennifer Agee out of "fear of further embarrassment and his desire to win re-election."

Hunt lost his re-election bid in November to Bill Overton. He did not return a call seeking comment.

Easter Moses, an attorney for the English family, was out of the office Friday and unavailable for comment.

English sued Hunt and former deputies Justin Sigmon and Brian Garland. Sigmon is now an investigator with the sheriff's office. Garland currently works with the Rocky Mount Police Department.

Sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Phillip Young said the department had not seen the lawsuit.

English claims in her lawsuit that the defendants "were aware from prior reliability of the confidential informant and their knowledge of the existing circumstances that their failure to protect and/or warn Chad English, his parents or friends, would probably cause death or injury."

During Stump's August trial, prosecutors said Stump became angry with English after they traded an ounce of marijuana for the prescription drug clonazepam and then English stole a set of electronic scales from Stump. Stump confronted English about the theft the next day, and English admitted taking them, apologized and gave them back. The two went outside to shoot a .12-gauge shotgun, and Stump shot English in the face, killing him.

English's lawsuit says the informant and others warned deputies that Stump planned to kill English.

"The defendants, prior to Chad English's murder, did not warn Chad English, his family or friends of Jeremiah Stump's plan to kill him," the lawsuit stated.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)