Mother defends son charged in fatal NC trooper shooting


COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —┬áThe man charged with murdering State Trooper Kevin Conner will now face the death penalty. A judge approved the request from the District Attorney to try Chauncy Askew for capital murder.

Since Conner’s murder on October 17, District Attorney Jon David has made it clear that his office will seek the death penalty.

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After the hearing, Askew’s mother shared what she thinks about that ruling.

“I had tears in my eyes and I had to drop my head down. I’ve never seen that before,” said Early Gowans, Askew’s mother.

Clad in a bulletproof vest , Askew walked into an emotional Columbus County courtroom. The family of Kevin Conner, the trooper Askew is accused of killing, were seen crying nearby.

Askew’s mother, also upset, listened while David argued why her son should be put to death for the crime.

“He might have been around with who did it, there is more than one person in it. I don’t think he should take all the blame on him when somebody else had something to do with it. But I don’t think my son should be involved in it alone. I think the other party that was in there need to be treated the same way my son is,” said Gowans.

Gowans is not saying her son is totally innocent, but she also believes the death penalty should not be in play.

Askew’s attorney wanted further tests done to decided if Askew is, in fact, competent to stand trial. Gowan’s explains why.

“I knew he had brain damage because he had been in a car accident before. So I just hope they bring all that before the judge,” said Gowans.

But David says the aggravating factors for a capital case and a motive are clear.

After listening to both the prosecution and defense, the judge ruled in favor of the DA, to try this case as a capital case.

Askew’s family says they want to make sure the trial is fair for both sides.

“Seeking the death penalty for my son is wrong until they find him guilty, that my son did it. But I don’t think my son did that,” said Gowans.

The other man charged in Trooper Conner’s death is Raheem Davis. He was charged with murder, but that charge was dropped.

Davis is now charged with felony accessory after the fact of first degree murder.