Blinded by jealousy and empowered by his badge, Georgia sheriff’s deputy Winford “Trey” Adams III shot and killed a man he falsely believed to be having an affair with his wife back in 2019.
He then called 911 crying, telling the dispatcher that he was going to kill himself.
“I can’t go to jail for the rest of my life,” said the then-32-year-old law enforcement officer.
“I’m a deputy sheriff with Madison County. I can’t go to jail for the rest of my life.”
On Monday, the 34-year-old former deputy was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to felony murder and one count of aggravated assault in the shooting death of Benjamin Lloyd Cloer, a 26-year-old man who was nothing more than friends with his wife.
“My wife was cheating on me, and I couldn’t take it,” he told the dispatcher in the 911 call. “I didn’t shoot her, I shot the guy. I couldn’t stop myself.”
But last year before accepting the plea deal, Adams attempted to use his Blue Privilege to quash the indictment against him by claiming he was only looking out for the safety of his wife when he shot her friend and co-worker four times in the back as he tried running away.
However, the judge denied the request, according to Classic City News, a local news site out of Athens.
“This Court finds there was no evidence presented that Defendant was acting in his official capacity as a sheriff’s deputy and no evidence presented which would suggest that Defendant was acting in the performance of his duties as a law enforcement officer during the incident in question.”
Adams had eight guns in his truck when he pulled up to Cloer’s house, spotting his wife though the window sitting on the couch with Cloer. He carried three guns on him when he barged into the home and pointed a gun at his wife and her friend.
He was choking his wife, calling her a “cheating bitch” as Cloer tried to run out the door when he opened fire, killing him. Cloer ran outside and collapsed in the neighbor’s front yard. Both Adams and his wife called 911.
“My friend is bleeding out,” Charlotte Adams told the dispatcher, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “His name is Lloyd Cloer. He’s just my friend. This was a misunderstanding. My husband doesn’t understand he’s just my friend.”
But responding paramedics were unable to access Cloer as he lay dying in the yard because Adams kept them at bay during an armed standoff with police that lasted about 20 minutes, according to a Facebook post by his father, Steve Cloer, in a Facebook group dedicated to memorializing his son.
“I’ve always loved you even though you didn’t love me,” Adams can be heard telling his wife in the 911 call.
Cloer was a graduate student who was only three weeks from obtaining a master’s degree in artificial intelligence at the University of Georgia in Athens and was planning on pursing a doctorate’s degree in the same subject.
His father who has been very active in ensuring Adams faced justice wrote the following about his son in Classic City News last year.
Benjamin is described by his friends and those who knew him well as someone filled with compassion and caring for others. He had an innate empathic ability to feel when someone was in need. Many people have described him as being “an old soul.” He was always there to lend an ear and help his friends when they had any kind of problem. People looked to Benjamin for comfort and advice, and he never avoided helping someone in need. He was admirably without prejudice of any kind and accepted everyone equally. These types of personal qualities were the type of thing that he considered the true treasures of life. He intentionally instilled these qualities in himself, continually seeking to improve on them. He went Above and Beyond in every aspect of his life for the ultimate purpose of serving his fellow man. His personal mission for his life was to make the world a better place for mankind, and often he did this one person at a time, but he had much bigger plans for the future in this regard.
Benjamin was considered a genius by many, but his genius was the result of an immense amount of hard work, effort and dedication. Those that knew him well didn’t necessarily identify him as a “genius”, but more commonly as someone of compassion, empathy with an unselfish willingness to help others in need. Above all, Benjamin was a genuinely good person. He was the kind of person the world needs. The loss of Benjamin not only impacted his family, friends and those that knew him, but perhaps thousands or even millions of people who may have benefited from the brilliance of this young man.