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Death penalty sought for at least one charged in trooper’s murder


     Prosecutors will seek the death penalty in at least one of two men charged in the Oct. 17 murder of Master Trooper Kevin Conner of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, District Attorney Jon David announced Wednesday.

     Chauncey Demez Lamar Askew, 18, of East Third Avenue in Chadbourn was indicted by a grand jury meeting in Whiteville Wednesday, charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Conner, David said.

     “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 news release. “At this time, the State elects to seek the death penalty against Chauncy Askew.”

     A decision is pending on how to proceed with the case against Raheem Cole Dashanell Davis, 20, of Braswell Road in Chadbourn, David said.

     Davis was charged with murder on the day Conner was killed, Askew’s arrest came six days later.

     “Raheem Davis is set in District Court on Jan. 17, 2019 for a probable cause hearing,” David said. “Chauncy Askew is set for case management in Superior Court on Dec. 13.”

     Prosecutors have filed notice with the Clerk of Court requesting a “Rule 24 for Chauncy 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.”

Maximum punishment

     “This alleged crime is reprehensible because it was perpetrated against a law enforcement officer who was brutally gunned down in the line of duty,” David said, noting the “dangerous job” of law enforcement. “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.”

Look for more on this story in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.