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Former deputy pleads not guilty to charges he murdered UGA grad student

Winford Terrell Adams III

By Joe Johnson

A former Madison County Sheriff’s deputy this week pleaded not guilty to charges he murdered a University of Georgia graduate student while in a jealous rage four months ago.

Winford Terrell “Trey”Adams III on Teusday pleaded not guilty to charges of malice murder, felony murder, first-degree home invasion, family violence aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to Clarke County Superior Court records.

Adams was arrested on Nov. 10, the day Athens-Clarke County police said he fatally shot 26-year-old Benjamin Lloyd Cloer at the victim’s residence on Old Jefferson River Road.

Cloer, a UGA student who was working toward a master’s degree in artificial intelligence, had been shot multiple times and he later died at the hospital.

Benjamin Lloyd Cloer

Adams, 32, of Lord Fleming Road in Comer was off duty and not in uniform at the time of the shooting, police said. He was taken into custody at the scene.

In a call he made to a 911 dispatcher, Adams said he shot Cloer because he caught his wife cheating on him with the victim.

However, Adams’ wife told a dispatcher that Cloer was “just my friend. This was a misunderstanding. My husband doesn’t understand he’s just my friend.”

Adams, who was immediately fired as a deputy, began working for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in August 2018.

He was indicted on his charges by a Clarke County grand jury on Feb. 4.

Adams on Wednesday continued to be detained without bail at the Clarke County Jail.

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