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State can pursue death penalty in Trooper murder

By Erin Smith

A Columbus County judge is allowing the State to move forward a capital case against one of the two men accused in the shooting death of NC Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin Conner.

Chauncy Askew, 18, of Chadbourn, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting. While his attorney argued that Askew was not competent to stand trial, the judge ruled in favor of District Attorney Jon David’s request for the death penalty, according to court records.

Askew was arrested in Loris, SC, on Tuesday, October 23, 2017, by law enforcement officials from both North Carolina and South Carolina. He waived extradition and was returned to North Carolina.

Askew and Raheem Davis, also of Chadbourn, are accused in the murder of Trooper Conner. Trooper Conner was killed in the line of duty while making a traffic stop in Columbus County. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, at approximately 12:15 a.m. on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018, Trooper Conner stopped a white GMC pick-up truck for a speeding violation on US 701 near Sellers Town Road in Columbus County. As Trooper Conner approached the vehicle, shots were fired striking the Trooper and he later died of his injuries at the hospital.

According to court records, video from Trooper Conner’s dash camera showed two people in the pick-up truck.

Court records show that on Wednesday, Davis was indicted by the Columbus County Grand Jury on a charge of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. The charge of first-degree against Davis was dropped, according to court records.

According to records with the NC Department of Corrections, Askew was convicted of felony identity fraud/theft and possession of a firearm by a felon in Cumberland County.


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