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Former deputy indicted for murder in UGA grad student's death

Winford Terrell Adams III

By Joe Johnson

A Clarke County grand jury recently indicted a former Madison County Sheriff’s deputy for allegedly murdering a University of Georgia graduate student three months ago.

Winford Terrell “Trey”Adams III was charged with 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 the indictment that was filed Feb. 4 in Clarke County Superior Court.

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 being held without bond at the Clarke County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned on March 10.

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