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Interview with UGA grad student's murderer

Updated: May 22, 2022

Winford Trey Adams Benjamin Lloyd Cloer UGA crime uga murder athens-clarke county accpd crime gun violence classic city news
Winford Terrell Adams

By Joe Johnson

Three years ago, Trey Terrell Adams was a deputy with the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

Today, the 36-year-old former Comer resident is serving a life sentence at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison after pleading guilty to murdering 26-year-old University of Georgia grad student Benjamin Lloyd Cloer, with whom Adams wrongly believed was having an affair with his wife.

Benjamin Lloyd Cloer

. Athens-Clarke County Superior Court Judge Lisa Lott sentenced Adams in accordance with a plea agreement he made with the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.

In exchange for pleading guilty to felony murder and aggravated assault, the DA’s office dismissed charges of malice murder, first-degree home invasion, and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Prior to making the plea bargain and his sentencing, Adams underwent questioning by Athens-Clarke County police Detective Paul Johnson.

The detective filed the following report about his interview with Adams, and the killer's wife, Charlotte Adams:

(Publisher's Note: certain personal information concerning uninvolved parties have been redacted from this story)

“I came in to assist with this case. I interviewed the suspect Winford “Trey” Terrell Adams. REDACTED 362 Lord Fleming Rd Comer Ga).

He said he is currently living at 576 Berea Church Rd in Commerce because his house at 362 Lord Fleming Rd is under renovation.

“I read him Miranda and he agreed to speak with me.

He gave me some of the background that led up to the events of this evening.

He said he met his wife, Charlotte in high school.

“He said when they first started dating, she had friends that used drugs. He said she used meth and accidently used heroin in the past. This was in 2007 or 2008. He said that there is always someone “terrible” in her life.

“He said that she stayed out all night once and told him she was at a male’s house playing video games all night. He said that they had a big fight afterwards and he cried at work and they had to call EAP (Employees Assistance Program).

“He said after he got hired at the Statesboro Police Department sometime around 2015, he was at a clinic offered to employees and his wife asked to speak with the nurse alone. Charlotte later told Trey he should get tested for Chlamydia.

She ultimately told Trey she got raped at the house where she was playing video games.

He said he always believed she was lying about her playing games. He stopped to say that he hoped the victim was doing ok.

He considered killing himself after that revelation, but Charlotte’s pet rabbit showed him an unusual amount of affection which led to changing his mind.

“He said that he told Charlotte that she had to leave that life behind and that they had to get married or he was going to break up with her. They got married.

He told me that he left the Statesboro Police Department after a couple of stressful incidents. One was a child who had drowned, another was several large parties with no back up that almost led to him being attacked.

He said he never had a whole lot of friends.

He said when he found out his father had died he backed up his car, got stuck in a ditch and couldn’t get out. He had a break down at work over this.

He said he moved to this area and lost contact with his Statesboro friends. He didn’t think anyone at his current job liked him much. He said that Charlotte had an app on her phone that allowed him to find her, because she would often get lost and it helped him give her directions.

He said that they had established rules if Charlotte was going to go out such as no drinking and she was not to be associating with other men.

Trey said the week before Halloween his wife went out with friends. He said she stayed out all night and the GPS indicated she was at the house on Jefferson Road where this incident occurred. Charlotte said she was only there for about 10 minutes, but he saw she was there about two hours.

"He said she was supposed to be with girls, but Charlotte ended up drunk at that guy’s house and fell asleep. She told Trey that (an) Uber picked her up about 10 minutes later although he saw she was there for a while.

He said Charlotte left her car somewhere near an apartment complex downtown and he had to tow the car home because there was no one to help him drive it.

She said nothing happened that night, but she was acting like she did the last time she was unfaithful.

“Trey said he stopped seeing his therapist. Trey said he has been diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression. He said that this evening his wife told him she was going to eat with some people from UGA, where she works who are involved with artificial intelligence.

Trey said he looked at her location and because he wanted her to bring something back for him to eat.

He saw she was at the same house on Jefferson Road from Halloween night.

“He stopped to say that he felt terrible and he should not have done this tonight. He said there was no intention of doing this.

He said he drove by to see if there were other cars there and he saw Charlotte’s car and only one other.

He said that he drove past the house six or seven times. He finally parked and thought “this is wrong”, but he needed to be sure as she has never been “straight”. He said he was going to look in a window and see if a lot of people were around a table. He wanted to see if one car picked up many people. He wanted to see if she was with a group of people or with just one person.

“Trey said that he didn’t want Charlotte to see him if he was wrong about her as he did not want to seem like he was jealous or crazy.

He said he walked around the house and saw them through a window on the front porch. He saw they were lying on the couch clothed, but the victim had his arms around Charlotte.

He said that he opened the door, which was unlocked, and they both jumped up with a “deer in the head lights look”. He said he wanted to yell at both of them.

He said Charlotte told him ‘He’s just a friend, He’s just a friend.’ He told her ‘You don’t do that with friends.’ He said that he forgot he had a Glock 19 on his side.

He said the jeans he was wearing were sitting by the door and the gun is always in the holster on those pants. He does this in case someone begins to kick in his door or if there is trouble outside and he has to get dressed in a hurry. He said he put these pants on as he went out the door.

“He said the guns in his truck were ‘not for tonight.’

He said for the last three weeks he has been trying to work up the courage to kill himself.

He said two were guns in the truck he considered using to kill himself and the others were guns he enjoyed shooting and he wanted to shoot them before shooting himself.

“Charlotte started to say stuff and everything went into slow motion and he had no control over any of it. He said he drew the gun and pointed it at them. They were on the couch to the left of him and he was a few steps into the house at this point.

Charlotte was screaming at him and he couldn’t recall what she was saying. He said that she started to grab at him and he pushed her away because he was afraid the gun would go off because she was clawing at him.

He said that he may have pushed Charlotte down and held her down. He wasn’t sure if he put his hand around her neck.

Trey said that ‘he bolted,’ meaning the victim.

He said that two or three rounds went off as the victim ran out the front door.

Trey said that he shot him while he was running away. Trey said that his arm was out and he didn’t really aim.

He said he had no physical confrontation with the victim. He said he pulled the gun and the victim ran.

He said that it scared him and it was like he had no control over himself.

He was inside the house when he shot the victim.

Trey said the victim was shot with the Glock 19 he had on his hip.

He shot out the window of his truck because Charlotte pulled his hoodie off while they argued and the keys were in the hoodie. He said he broke the window of the truck by shooting it and then punching it, He said he did not have his knife with a glass breaker on the end.

He said he went to his truck because he felt bad. He went to the truck to get the shotgun because he was going to use that gun to kill himself. He got his Smith & Wesson because it had a light on it. He needed the light to try to find and help the victim because he felt terrible and he heard the victim running and yelling, but he decided to not approach him.

He said that he called people he cared about before he killed himself. He called his friends Jody and Patrick from Statesboro Police Department. He called Madison County and spoke with Lt Ring.

He said while he was in the house and making the calls he saw condoms and lubricant on the bed. He believed this was because Charlotte was there.

Adams was arrested, charged with murder and taken to the Clarke County jail. On 11/11/19 I signed an arrest warrant with Judge Makin.

Sonny Wilson, the coroner, said the victim will go for an autopsy.

I searched the suspect’s car using the warrant that Detective Franco wrote.

Some guns were seized, but there was nothing located in the car that was otherwise useful. These guns were not used in the crime. There were two rifles and three pistols.

“I spoke with Charlotte Adams.

She explained she called the victim Lloyd while his family called him Ben.

Charlotte gave me her mother’s phone number REDACTED

Charlotte said that she was afraid that if Trey got a bond he would kill her.

She said Trey was trying to get away from her as they fought in the house. He suddenly stropped struggling and she thinks Lloyd might have got out of the door and then came back inside, maybe to help her. She said that Trey’s eyes changed and he stopped fighting her. He seemed like he was refocusing.

Lloyd said ‘shit’ and the gun went off. Trey shot several times. She said that she wished Lloyd didn’t come back and let Trey kill her instead.

She said Trey called her a cheating bitch and he saw her as he watched them through the window.

She said that Trey told her he would kill himself in the past.

She said they have had no physical domestic violence issues in the past.

She said Trey set up rules saying she can’t drink at all but he has allowed her to have one beer.

She asked him once if she needed a curfew. Trey said yes, she did. He never told her what time the curfew was.

He said she could not talk to any other guys. Not at work, on messenger or in any other way.

She said Trey set up the rules to keep her safe.

She said that she was at Lloyd’s house for just 15 minutes that night. She said they were talking about Trey and she asked Lloyd to hug her because she was upset about the issues she and Trey were having.