WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) — A former Southwest Virginia deputy accused of going across the country and killing three people in California will be the center of discussion at a Washington County Virginia Board of Supervisors meeting.
In November, Austin Edwards went to Riverside, California and killed a 15-year-old girl’s mother and grandparents then set their home on fire, authorities claim.
Edwards allegedly began a deceptive online relationship with the girl before the killings. Medical examiners said Edwards took his own life after he tried to run from police.
Edwards was hired by the Washington County, Virginia Sheriff’s Office a week before the events in California. Edwards reportedly never made it to active duty in the Tri-Cities region as he was going through orientation.
On Tuesday, the Washington County Virginia Board of Supervisors will meet and discuss a claim for damages against the county on behalf of the victims, Mark, Sharie and Brooke Winek.
The County received a letter in March saying a claim is being made against it for “negligence, gross negligence, wrongful death, survival and other damages.”
A document attached to the Board’s Tuesday agenda states the Washington County Sheriff’s Office does its own hiring and employee management, and Edwards was not a government employee.
The document also states “there is no factual basis to establish a relationship between the county and Mister Edwards.”
The county attorney has reportedly recommended the board denies the claim.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 23.