Saturday, April 28, 2012

Texas executes man for 'execution' style killing

The 17th Execution of 2012

Beunka Adams was executed by the state of Texas on April 26, 2012.  Adams said he was a stupid kid in a man's body at the time of the murder, which started at a convenience store southeast of Dallas and ended in a remote area several miles away.

"Everything that happened that night was wrong," Adams said as he stared at the death chamber ceiling, never looking at the people who gathered to watch his final moments. "If I could take it back, I would. ... I messed up and can't take that back," reported The Associated Press.

His death was carried out less than three hours after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal to postpone the execution, the fifth this year in Texas.

Adams expressed love to his family Thursday and asked those witnessing his execution to avoid letting any hate they had for him consume them.  "I really hate things turned out the way they did," he said according to the AP. "For everybody involved, I don't think any good came out of it."

He took about a dozen breaths, then started to wheeze and snore. Eventually, he became still. He was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m. CDT, nine minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow into his body, reported the AP.

Adams and another man were sent to death row for the slaying of Kenneth Vandever, 37, who was in a convenience store on Sept. 2, 2002, in Rusk, about 115 miles southeast of Dallas, when two men wearing masks walked in. The men announced a holdup; one of them was carrying a shotgun.

After robbing the store, Adams and Richard Cobb, both from East Texas, drove off with the two female clerks and Vandever in a car belonging to one of the women.

Testimony at Adams' trial, reported the AP, showed he gave the orders during the holdup and initiated the abductions. They drove to a remote area about 10 miles away in Cherokee County, where Adams ordered Vandever and one woman to get inside the car trunk and then raped the other woman. Testimony also showed he forced all three to kneel as they were shot.

Vandever was fatally wounded. The women were kicked and shot again before Cobb and Adams, believing they were dead, fled. Both women were alive, however, and one was able to run to a house to summon help.

He asked for forgiveness and I forgive him, but he had to pay the consequences," said one of the women, Nikki Ansley, referring to Adams after witnessing his execution. She survived being raped and shot but continues to suffer painful injuries from the gun blast.

The AP usually does not identify victims of rape, but Ansley has publicly acknowledged it and agreed to be interviewed.

Donald Vandever, the father of the slain man, told the AP that Adams' execution "doesn't really change anything." "As far as I'm concerned, it was way too easy on him," he said.

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