Prosecutors seek death penalty against suspect in state trooper’s murder

Prosecutors seek death penalty against suspect in state trooper’s murder
Chauncy Askew (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

SOUTHEASTERN NC (WECT) - District Attorney Jon David announced Wednesday a Columbus County grand jury issued an indictment for first-degree murder and his office is seeking the death penalty against Chauncy Askew for his role in the shooting death of State Trooper Kevin Conner.

Askew, 18, was arrested in late October without incident in Loris, S.C., after a manhunt.

Raheem Davis, 20, of Chadbourn, is also charged with first-degree murder in Conner's death. He is set to appear in district court on Jan. 17 for a probable cause hearing and David said his office will make a charge determination for Davis at a later date.

"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."

Askew is set for case management in superior court on Dec. 13 and David said the clerk's office has also requested a Rule 24 hearing for Askew which will determine if the state has presented sufficient evidence of aggravating circumstances to warrant the death penalty designation.

Davis and Askew are accused of gunning down Conner in mid-October during a traffic stop for a speeding violation on US 701 near Sellers Town Road in Columbus County. Conner died after being taken to a local hospital.

Copyright 2018 WECT. All rights reserved.