COLUMBUS COUNTY (WWAY) — One of the two suspects charged in the shooting death of NC State Trooper Kevin Conner will face the death penalty.
Columbus County District Attorney Jon David said earlier today a Columbus County grand jury issued an Indictment for first degree murder against Chauncy Askew in the shooting death of Trooper Conner.
David said his office intends to seek the death penalty against Askew.
“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 wrote in a news 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 my office will make a charging determination about him at a later date.”
Raheem Davis was arrested on October 17, just hours after Conner was shot during a trafic stop on Highway 701 in Columbus County.
Investigators say Davis and Askew were together in the truck Trooper Conner pulled over. Surveillance video from a convenience store shows Askew getting in the driver’s seat of the truck. Just 15 minutes later Conner pulled the truck over for speeding and was shot to death.
After a manhunt, officers found Davis in Fair Bluff and arrested him. Several days later, law enforcement arrested Askew in South Carolina.
The district attorney says Davis has a probable cause hearing in January. The State has filed a notice with the Clerk’s Office to request a Rule 24 hearing for Askew at a future date. 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 District Attorney Jon 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.”