WR code officer who was shot testifies

PERRY — A civilian code enforcement officer for Warner Robins testified Wednesday in Houston County Superior Court that he was uneasy about visiting the man who is accused of shooting him.

Beau Weathers, who was unarmed, was shot in the shoulder, arm and face after he, a police officer and three wrecker drivers came to 204 Ward St. in Warner Robins on April 23, 2008, to tow away junk vehicles.

John Adcock, 56, the owner of the vehicles, is also accused of firing upon police officers and the wrecker drivers. Adcock is on trial for attempted murder and related charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property.

Weathers testified that after issuing Adcock a warning about the junk vehicles and the trash littered across the yard, he returned to the office and told his supervisors that he did not want to go back out to Adcock’s home alone. Weathers said he was uneasy because of the way Adcock had looked at him and had told him he was not going to tow his vehicles. That was 15 days before Weathers and the others arrived to remove the junk vehicles.

Weathers recounted for jurors the afternoon of the shooting when Adcock came out his front door firing a double-barrel shotgun. Weathers said the first shot missed him, but he was struck by the second blast as he put his clipboard over his face and ran for cover. He testified he looked back just as Adcock fired the second blast from about 8 to 10 feet away.

Adcock, the accused shooter, who is representing himself, questioned Weathers, the shooting victim, from the witness stand — including asking Weathers if he fell to the ground immediately when he was shot.

“Yeah,” Weathers told Adcock. In response to a similar question, Weathers told Adcock, “I was bent over running and looked back when you shot me.”

Weathers told jurors about the extensive surgeries on his shoulder and arm, and the plastic surgery on his face, including repair of his eye socket. He said he still has shotgun pellets lodged within his body and cannot completely feel a corner of his mouth.

“Mr. Adcock never raised his voice,” Weathers said of Adcock on the day of the shooting. “He was a cool customer.”

Dr. Paul Syribeys, a Macon plastic and reconstructive surgeon, testified Weathers will require long-term medical care for the arm-related injuries from the shooting.

David Guest, co-owner and wrecker driver for Warner Robins Towing Service, testified about taking cover behind the wheel of a tow truck when Adcock opened fire — first with the shotgun and then a semi-automatic rifle.

“You just wonder what could have been,” Guest told jurors. “It was a very frightening moment.”

The damage to three bullet-riddled wrecker trucks was about $2,700, Guest testified.

Jimmy Beasley, a wrecker driver who also was forced to take cover, told jurors, “I was scared to death.”

Joshua Walden, the third wrecker driver, told jurors he ran down the road to reach safety when the gunfire erupted.

“He (Adcock) was out to get us,” Walden said.

Warner Robins police Lt. Craig Clifton, who arrived after the gunfire, testified that he used his body as a cover — putting his body between two of the truck drivers who had been pinned down in the line of fire — so they could flee to safety.

Clifton also testified about the evacuation of nearby Lindsey Elementary School. Adcock’s home on Ward Street is two houses down from the intersection of Ward Street and North Avenue. The elementary school is across the street from the intersection.

George Diffee, a court security officer at the federal courthouse in Macon, testified that Adcock called him on his cell phone and told him he’d “shot one” of the people that had shown up to tow his vehicles. Diffee said he and Adcock grew up together and were “pretty close friends.”

“I guess this is goodbye,” Diffee testified Adcock said before they hung up.

Diffee said he drove from his Macon home off Hartley Bridge Road to Adcock’s home to attempt to help with negotiations with Adcock, who was involved with a standoff with police after the shooting. The standoff ended peacefully several hours later.

David Scott Lankford, Adcock’s stepson, broke down in tears on the witness stand as he was being sworn in. Lankford testified that Adcock called him and told him he’d shot someone.

“I figured it was some police officer,” Lankford testified. “He (Adcock) said if they ever came back that would happen.”

Audrey Rhodes, a crime scene investigator, testified that six additional weapons and a large amount of ammunition were recovered from Adcock’s home after the shooting.

Rhodes also told jurors that the home was littered with so much trash and clutter that there were paths in the home to get through it. She said the bathroom was not working and there were places in the floor and ceiling that were unsafe. She said she had to “crawl over things” to get upstairs.

Testimony is expected to continue this morning.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.