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Ex-deputy gets life for fatally shooting UGA grad student

March 15, 2022 GMT

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A former sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to fatally shooting a University of Georgia graduate student who he thought was having an affair with his wife.

Winford “Trey” Terrell Adams, 34, entered his plea Monday to felony murder and aggravated assault in the death of Benjamin Lloyd Cloer, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He also received 10 years for the assault charge.

Athens-Clark police found the 26-year-old Cloer shot multiple times in November 2019. Adams, who was a deputy with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at the time, can be heard in a previously released 911 call asking for help and admitting to dispatchers that he shot the student, who was pursuing a master’s degree in artificial intelligence.

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“I just shot somebody,” he said. “My wife was cheating on me, and I couldn’t take it. I didn’t shoot her, I shot the guy. I couldn’t stop myself.”

Adams’ wife also called 911 and told authorities that her husband shot her friend. Adams can be heard in the background telling her, “I always loved you, even if you didn’t love me.”

Cloer was pronounced dead at a hospital. Adams was off-duty and in plainclothes at the time of the shooting. He was taken into custody at the scene and later fired from the sheriff’s office, where he had worked since August 2018, according to the newspaper.