MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - The Madison County Sheriff's Office launched a death investigation after a Harvest man was found dead in his yard over the weekend, they announced at a news conference Thursday.
Sgt. Brian Chaffin identified the victim as 57-year-old Jason Klonowski. Chaffin said a neighbor found Klonowski's body in his yard on Mussleman Lane on Sunday.
The cause of death has not been released.
The murder victim has nearly two dozen signs in his yard referencing sheriff's deputies beating the victim's friend, Robert Bryant. The signs say "Stop Police Brutality," "Support Robert Bryant (Beaten By Deputies)," and "Thank a Good Cop, Report a Bad Cop."
WAFF obtained court documents filed by Bryant's defense attorney that claim a fight between his client and a Madison County Sheriff's deputy started because the deputy had a vendetta against the defendant.
The defense writes:
Two to four weeks prior to the altercation, Deputy Watson, the Madison County Sheriff's deputy at the center of this dispute, was at a local bar the same time as Defendant and felt insulted because he believed that Defendant had made advances and/or lewd statements towards his girlfriend. Based on this previous altercation, Deputy Watson devised a plan to seek revenge against Defendant.
Investigators said the case is being treated as a murder, but did not say how he died and they did not want to address the signs.
"The situation you're speaking of; we're not associated with that and we're not involved in that in any type of investigation. His personal beliefs and his personal associations, as far as stuff of that nature goes, is not of our concern. His death is of our concern," said Sgt. Chaffin.
Sgt. Chaffin said they do not believe there is an ongoing threat to people or homes in the area.
Anyone with information about the death of Jason Klonowski should call the Madison County Sheriff's Office.