It was in a nondescript building off
At the time, both Burkett and Hunt allegedly worked for the Lear Corporation Plant, who owned and operated the one-story, brick building where the incident occurred.
Hunt held Burkett, who was pregnant at the time of the kidnapping, at gunpoint in the men’s restroom for hours, before police finally negotiated her release.
"Apparently, [Hunt] didn't like rejection,” said Lenny Millholland, a former city sheriff in Winchester, and one of the two individuals who negotiated the standoff with Hunt. “It was about a seven-hour standoff. In order to get [Burkett] out, ironically, we traded her for a bottle of soda pop."
According to court documents, the incident at the plant (which is now owned by Trex Co. Inc.) marked the second time that month that Hunt had abducted Burkett.
"He also had issues in
For kidnapping Burkett in
Court records show the Winchester General District Court granted a psychiatric evaluation of Hunt, where it was determined he was competent and sane enough to stand trial.
However, it was noted that Hunt suffered from suicidal thoughts and deep depression.
In a letter to Judge John Wetsel, Jr., written by Hunt on October 11, 2000 from his jail cell, he noted he had “learned [his lesson] and had been punished,” but implies jail time was not what he needed. “What my need was is something that [the Department of Corrections] does not provide, professional concelling (sic)."
In the letter, Hunt asks the judge to run his sentences in
Judge Wetsel denied Hunt’s request to run his sentences concurrently, and indicated he had “suspended a substantial portion of [Hunt’s] sentence.” Court records did not indicate any professional psychiatric treatment in concurrence or instead of Hunt’s sentencing in
"Do you get a second bite at the apple? A lot of people do, and a lot of people do good over it,” Millholland said, when asked who he thinks should be responsible for a convicted criminal’s psychiatric needs. “Every now and then you have a bad apple, and no matter what you do, they're going to do something wrong."
According to WVSP, one of the victims in the recent
State Police say that of the four victims Hunt killed, two men were romantically involved with
Despite the similarities between the cases, Millholland says warning signs usually aren’t as obvious as the appear in hindsight.
"I don't know if it could have been foreseen,” he said. “But we knew what happened that night [in January 1999], and [Burkett] is a lucky lady. The question is, did something happen from the time in 1999 until now? Apparently, something did."
According to WVSP, Hunt also killed Doug Brady, a competitive tow truck driver in the area. Police believe Hunt was upset because Brady was getting towing jobs illegally. According to the Monongalia County Commissioner, Hunt spoke about towing concerns at county meetings over the last few months leading up to the Morgantown shootings.