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Madison County deputy charged with murder of UGA student in Athens

Updated: Nov 11, 2019

Winford Terrell Adams III

By Joe Johnson

A Madison County sheriff’s deputy was arrested for murder over the weekend in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred during a domestic incident in Athens, Athens-Clarke County police said.

According to police officers responded at about 6:48 p.m. Sunday to trhe domestic incident at a location in the 6000 block of Old Jefferson Road where they found 26-year-old Benjamin Lloyd Cloer of Athens who had been shot multiple times.

Cloer, a University of Georgia student , was transported to the hospital, where he died, police said.

Wiford Terrell "Trey" Adams III was taken into custody at the scene and at about 1:18 a.m. Monday was booked into the Clarke County on murder charges

Police noted that Adams, 32, of Lord Fleming Road in Comer was off duty and not in uniform at the time of the shooting.

He began working for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in August 2018and was fired imm after his arrest.

Deborah Houston Cloer, who lives with her husband in Gwinnett Count, said her son was working toward a master’s degree in artificial intelligence.

She paid tribute to her son on her Facebook page:

Ben was so curious about everything, so much so, that one of his teachers gave him a "What if" certificate when he graduated middle school. I thought he was destined to great things with his amazing mind and heart.

He was so kind. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. I was looking forward to him graduating soon from UGA with his master's in A.I. I was looking forward to his accomplishments. Very much, I was looking forward to his children and my grandchildren .

I have lit this candle for you, my son, so you will not stumble and fall as you walk toward the light where Saint Peter is waiting for you along with Christ and other loved ones that have gone before you. I know your great grandma and great grandpa will be there with big grins and open arms. Know that I will be looking for you when I cross the river.

You are the best beautiful boy ever and you will never leave my heart. I promised to love you forever and all the way to Heaven. I never thought you would get there first but I have no doubts, God is with you.

Love always, Mommy.

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