Franklin County Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Deputy | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

The parents of a Virginia man who was fatally shot by a Sheriff’s deputy during a domestic dispute call have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the deputy, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, and several other employees at the department.

According to the Franklin News Post, Sergeant Riley Hodges responded to a domestic violence call in July 2010 made by a friend of Julie Harrison of Redwood, Virginia. The friend said that when she dropped Harrison off at her resident, Harrison’s boyfriend, Max Frye, had fired a gun at her car.

When Hodges entered the scene, he turned on a recording device and knocked on the door. He heard an argument and loud noises. When the door opened, he say that Harrison was bleeding and that Frye had a gun. The recording has Hodges telling Frye to put the gun down more than 25 times, and Frye responding that he doesn’t want to go back to jail and that he will kill himself. While he puts the gun down briefly, the man picked it up and fired a shot. Hodge returned fire and killed Frye with eight shots from his own weapon.

While the wrongful death lawyer is arguing that the gun went off and hit the ceiling, Hodges says that the gun was fired in his direction and that he felt his life was in danger. An autopsy found that Frye had alcohol, Xanax, and meth in his bloodstream.

An investigation by the Virginia State Police found that Hodges had acted appropriately considering the situation.