Lawyer requests sheriff turn over Madison Co. murder case

Published: Nov. 21, 2013 at 12:37 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 19, 2013 at 12:51 AM CST
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Jason Klonowski was found dead in his Harvest yard earlier in November.
Jason Klonowski was found dead in his Harvest yard earlier in November.

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Shoals attorney is calling for the Madison County Sheriff's Office to turn over a homicide investigation to another agency.

That investigation involves the murder of Jason Klonowski, who was found dead in his front yard in Harvest in early November.

Attorney Henry Sherrod represents Robert Bryant, a friend of Klonowski's who was involved in an altercation with a Madison County Sheriff's Deputy in 2012.

At the time of Klonowski's death, there were dozens of anti-sheriff's department signs in his front yard. Klonowski held a rally speaking out against deputy brutality just weeks before.

Attorney Henry Sherrod sent a two-page request to Sheriff Blake Dorning, County Attorney Jeff Rich, and the Alabama Bureau of Investigations, citing why the murder case needs to be turned over to an independent agency.

In the letter to Sheriff Dorning, Sherrod alleges Klonowski's activities on behalf of his friend Robert Bryant "were an obvious potential motive for someone in or connected to the [Madison County Sheriff's] department to want to harm [him.]" Sherrod also makes several other allegations involving the department and the incident with Robert Bryant.

Sherrod says he requested the Madison County Sheriff's Department turn over the murder investigation to an independent agency during a meeting with two investigators last weekend. Sherrod says he has no information suggesting that the Sheriff's Office has requested an independent agency take over the case and that he has not heard back from the two investigators regarding his request. For those reasons, he sent this formal letter of request to Sheriff Dorning and the other parties.

WAFF spoke with Sheriff Dorning, who said he has not personally received this letter, but he is aware the county attorney has received the letter.

Sheriff Dorning denied the allegations, saying, "people accuse because that's what they get paid to do. When you are dealing with an issue where someone is looking for a monetary reward for any type of an action, then it will come out in court."

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