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Friday, February 3, 2017

Jody Lee Hunt's Murderous Rampage

     Jody Lee Hunt was not a stranger to crime and violence. In 1999, a judge in Virginia sentenced the 24-year-old to ten years in prison following a kidnapping conviction, an offense that included the use of a firearm.

     In 2014, the 39-year-old Hunt owned the J & J Towing and Repair company in Morgantown, West Virginia, the home of West Virginia University in the north central part of the state. Hunt lived nearby in the small town of Westover.

     Sharon Kay Berkshire, Hunt's 39-year-old former girlfriend, filed a domestic violence case against him in October 2014. In mid-November, one of Berkshire's new boyfriends, 28-year-old Michael David Frum, a car detailer who also lived in Westover, sent Hunt a text message that taunted him for losing his girlfriend to another man.

     Besides the humiliation of losing his girlfriend to Frum and another Morgantown area man named Jody Taylor, Hunt was battling a business competitor named Doug Brady, the 45-year-old owner of Doug's Towing. Brady's company, located just a quarter of a mile from Hunt's towing business, had been publicly accused by Hunt of acquiring towing jobs illegally.

     At eight in the morning of Monday December 1, 2014, Morgantown police officers responded to a call regarding a body found at Doug's Towing company. The dead man, Doug Brady, had been shot in the head. Detectives didn't believe that robbery had been a motive for the murder.

     Police officers, less than an hour later, found two more bodies in a house in Cheat Lake, West Virginia just outside of Morgantown. Sharon Kay Berkshire and her lover Michael David Frum had been shot to death execution style.

     A short time after officers responded to the double murder in Cheat Lake, they were called to another murder scene, this one on Sweet Pea Road outside of Morgantown. Jody Taylor, Berkshire's other boyfriend, had been shot in the head.

     Because Jody Lee Hunt had a motive to murder all four victims, he became the immediate suspect in the quadruple murder case. Police were looking for Hunt's black 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck.

     On Hunt's Facebook page, detectives found the following message posted on the day of the murders: "I'm deeply hurt by the events that led up to this day! I poured out my heart to her [presumably Sharon Kay Berkshire] only to be manipulated as to what I could give her. Life is short. It's not all games. Don't play a game with a person's heart."

     Also on his Facebook page that day, Hunt had written: "My actions were not right nor were the actions of those who tried to break me down and take from me. This was not the plan but a struggle to see that those who hurt me received their fair pay of hurt like I received."

     At seven in the evening on the day of the four murders, police received a tip that Jody Hunt was seen in Everettsville, a town seven miles from Morgantown in the southern part of Monongalia County. Police officers, in a power line right of way cut through the forrest off U.S. Route 119, found Hunt's truck. Inside the vehicle they discovered Hunt dead from a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head. 

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