Revised on: 11.7.2018 at 04:35 p.m.
Posted on: 11.7.2018 at 04:11 p.m.
Chauncey Askew will face the death penalty when he goes to trial for the murder of Trooper Kevin Conner.
District Attorney Jon David said Wednesday that a Columbus County Grand Jury returned a true bill of indictment against Askew for the shooting death of the trooper during an early morning traffic stop last month. Askew, 18, and a co-defendant, Raheem Davis, were in a stolen truck Conner stopped for speeding south of Whiteville on U.S. 701.
Davis, 20, was captured in Fair Bluff after an intensive manhunt, and Askew was picked up in South Carolina two days later.
“Earlier this week, I convened a panel of senior prosecutors to meet with me to scrupulously review the evidence and carefully consider the relative culpability of both defendants who are charged in the shooting death of Trooper Kevin Conner,” David said in a press release. “At this time, the State elects to seek the death penalty against Chauncy Askew.”
The case against Raheem Davis remains in District Court and the DA will make a charging determination about him at a later date, David said.
Davis is set in District Court on Jan. 17, 2019 for a probable cause hearing. Askew is set for case management in Superior Court on Dec. 13.
The state has filed a notice with the Clerk’s Office to request a Rule 24 hearing for Askew at a future date, David said. The purpose of a Rule 24 hearing is for the court to determine whether the State has presented sufficient evidence of aggravating circumstances to warrant the death penalty designation.
“This alleged crime is reprehensible because it was perpetrated against a law enforcement officer who was brutally gunned down in the line of duty,” said David. “Officers perform a dangerous job when they patrol our street to serve and protect our community. The same laws that they seek to enforce should also serve to protect them. Given the facts of this case my office will pursue nothing less than the maximum punishment.”