Texas death row inmate scheduled to die Tuesday
Update: Adams was executed by the state of Texas on February 22, 2011. He had no last words.
Huntsville, Texas- The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles in Austin unanimously rejected an urgent clemency petition Friday on behalf of a former Army veteran scheduled for lethal injection on Tuesday. Timothy Wayne Adams, 42, was convicted in 2003 of shooting to death of his 19-month old son, Tim, Jr.
Last Wednesday more than 90 faith leaders and three jurors from the original trial urged the board to ask Gov. Rick Perry to commute Adam’s death penalty to life in prison.
Despite the petition, however, the seven-member board voted 7-0 twice — first against a 120-day reprieve and then against a recommendation to commute the sentence to life in prison.
Adams, a black male, will be executed at Huntsville State Prison this Tuesday evening, Feb. 22.
Evidence showed that on February 20, 2002 Adams held his child at arm’s length and shot him with a pistol, then shot him again as the boy lay on the floor. Prosecutors claimed that Adams killed his son to cause suffering for his wife, who was threatening to leave him. The shooting had escalated to a police standoff at the family’s apartment in southwest Houston.
Adams reportedly had intended a murder suicide but was talked into surrendering by friends and family members by telephone. He gave himself up peacefully to police a few hours after the ordeal began.
Adams, a Houston native, joined the U.S. Army after graduating high school in 1986. He was honorably discharged in 1989 after being stationed in Germany. He married his wife Emma in 2000 and his second son, Tim Jr., was born shortly afterward. Adams was a supervisor for ACSS Security in Houston and had no prior criminal record. He has not had a single disciplinary write-up in prison.
Clemency advocates on behalf of Adams have called the incident that landed him on death row “a tragic mistake” saying that after a fight with his wife escalated out-of-hand, Mr. Adams “snapped” and decided to take his own life and the life of his youngest son.
According to the Texas Defender Service, Adams’ defense counsel did not present crucial mitigating evidence to counter the prosecution’s contention that he was a future danger to society or to show that his life was worth saving.
“Lacking this mitigating evidence, it is perhaps not surprising that the jury sentenced Mr. Adams to death,” the TDS reported, “But since learning additional information about Mr. Adams’ character and background, jurors Rebecca Hayes, Ngoc Duong, and Kathryn Starling have urged the Board to commute Mr. Adams’ death sentence to life in prison.”
The inmate’s lawyers also contended his death sentence was unconstitutional because a 2007 ruling from the court said a mother with no criminal history who murders her child because of stress and depression was not a future danger for purposes of sentencing.
The jury at his 2003 trial in Houston was given the choice of life in prison or death by injection.
Adams will become the second Texas death row inmate to be executed in 2011, both in February.
Last Tuesday, the state put to death Michael Wayne Hall, 31, an accomplice in the torture-slaying of a mentally challenged 19-year old Amy Robinson of Arlington.
Another death row inmate Cleve Foster was scheduled to die Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011 for a similar murder. Foster, however, received a last hour reprieve by the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The appeal failed and Foster’s new execution date has been set for April 5.