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Former Alexandria, Va., sheriff Dunning dies at 62

Monday - 7/16/2012, 3:07pm  ET

By The Associated Press

HILTON HEAD, S.C. - A South Carolina coroner has confirmed that former Alexandria, Va., sheriff James Dunning has died at his Hilton Head, S.C. home.

Deputy Coroner David Ott in Beaufort County, S.C., told The Associated Press that Dunning was found dead Thursday morning. He said his office was awaiting the results of an autopsy but that there was "nothing suspicious" about his death. Dunning was 62.

Dunning, a Democrat, was first elected sheriff in 1985 and served for two decades before retiring and then moving to South Carolina. The Washington Post reports ( http://wapo.st/Ml9Tog) that the Alexandria jail held convicted spies and suspected terrorists during Dunning's tenure.

His death comes nine years after his wife, real estate agent Nancy Dunning, was mysteriously killed in the couple's Alexandria home. Police said then that they believed she was targeted by someone she knew, but the murder remains unsolved.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)