Timothy Wayne Adams, 42, was executed by lethal injection on 22 February 2011 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of his 18-month-old son.
In February 2002, Timothy and Emma Adams were living in an apartment in Houston with their 18-month old son, Tim; and Andrew, Emma's 13-year old son from a previous relationship. On Friday, 15 February, Emma decided to move out after discovering that her husband was keeping a gun in the apartment. She took her children with her and moved in with a friend, Karen Farr. On Saturday, she went to the apartment with a police officer and retrieved some of her things. On Sunday, she spoke with Adams on the phone and informed him she was moving out. He agreed that she could return on Tuesday and get more of her belongings, and that he would not be there. After she did so, she told Adams that she needed to make another trip for her belongings. He told her she could return on Wednesday and agreed that he would not be there. Emma then made arrangements with Andrew to meet him at the apartment after school on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, 20 February, Andrew arrived at the apartment as planned. Adams then came up behind him, pointed a gun at him, and said, "I should shoot you now." He ordered Andrew to sit on the floor and accused him of stealing videotapes from him. Adams angrily asked Andrew why his wife was "doing this" to him and told him she was "going to pay." As they waited together for Emma to arrive, Adams wrote a note to her and read it aloud to Andrew. The note read:Look what you and
your selfish pride did.
You thought I was playing.
Now you see I whaten.
Don't ever tell me what I
can't do with my own child.
You wish you had
let me spend time alone
with my child now.
You wish you had been calling
our son Tim Jr. now.
You wish you had not called
me those names now.
You wished you had washed my clothes
and fixed me something to eat now.
Eventually, Emma returned with Tim. When she entered the apartment, she saw Andrew sitting on the floor and saw Adams with the gun in his hand. She put Tim down on the floor and asked what was going on. Adams picked up Tim. He told Emma that Andrew had confessed to stealing from him and yelled at Andrew to tell her the truth. Emma asked Adams why he picked up the baby. In response, he yelled at her and pointed the gun. Emma then picked up the phone and called 9-1-1. Timothy yelled at Emma to put down the phone, but she continued to talk with the 9-1-1 operator. Adams then pointed the gun at her. Andrew attempted to jump in front of the gun. Adams fired. The bullet went through Emma's shirt and grazed her back. She and Andrew ran for the door and escaped.
A couple of minutes later, Andrew returned and pounded on the door, begging Adams to hand over Tim. Adams did not answer the door.
Police officers, including a S.W.A.T. team, were sent to the apartment complex. Witnesses saw Adams looking out of the apartment window, holding Tim on one arm and a gun in the other hand. One witness saw Adams hit Tim on the back of the head with the butt of the gun.
During the standoff, Adams had numerous telephone conversations with friends, relatives, co-workers, and police officers. He told one police officer that he wasn't giving himself up and that had already shot himself in the stomach. He said he would kill himself if anyone tried to enter the apartment. He told another officer he would shoot anyone who came through the door. Emma's friend, Karen Farr, called when she saw the standoff on television. Adams told her he was "going to make Emma hurt the rest of her days on the earth, like she made him suffer." He told her he had shot Tim twice in the chest and shot himself in the stomach.
After shooting Tim, Adams continued his note to Emma on a second page:You will never forget
this will you Bitch!
You wish you had just
been a wife now don't you.
You should of never tried
to take my son away from me.
I told you Bitch!
I hate you to!
Adams ultimately surrendered after talking to a member of the Houston police hostage negotiation team. The standoff lasted about 2½ hours in total. When police entered the apartment, they found Tim dead on the floor. He died from two bullet wounds in his chest. The medical examiner testified that the muzzle of the gun was touching the victim's skin when it was fired. Adams later testified that he shot Tim a second time because he did not die after the first shot.
In a lengthy recorded confession, Adams said Emma had "mentally abused" him. He said she was "mean and evil" and that "whatever I try to give my son, do for him, and be there fore him, she would not let him have it." Citing an example, he said a woman at work gave Tim a chair. Emma put toys in the chair so that Tim could not sit in it "just basically to be mean so he couldn't have the gift that I gave him." She untruthfully told others he didn't give her money for diapers and food, which "was just her mean, evil way of being mean to me." Adams also stated that she knew Andrew was stealing from him, but when he confronted her about it, she called him a liar.
"My wife was hurtin' me," Adams continued. "She was keeping him away from me. I was gonna take him out, and me too ... She was not going to get a chance to hurt me or my son anymore, she wasn't going to keep us apart, she wasn't going to teach him not to love me, and me, I couldn't love him." He said that after firing the first shot at Emma, he intended to fire the gun again, but it jammed, giving her time to escape.
"I could go on forever," Adams said, continuing to talk more about Emma's "abusive behavior." His other complaints included that she did not open his Mother's Day card and made up an excuse not to go out with him on Mother's Day. She did not buy him a birthday present or sing "Happy Birthday" to him.
Emma Adams testified that her husband was suspicious and jealous and accused her of seeing other me. He told her that he had followed her to see if she was meeting anyone. He told her he was hoping to catch her with another man so he could kill both of them "right then and there." Adams also listened in on a phone conversation between Emma and a male co-worker. After the phone call, he screamed at her and beat her with his fists. Emma also testified that Adams had stated if she ever left him, she would never see Tim again.
Karen Farr testified that Emma and the children often came to her house to eat because Emma said there was no food at her house. She testified that Adams told her about two movies he had watched about a man who murdered his wife and did not get caught.
Andrew's mother testified that had known Adams for about nineteen years and had lived with him for about a year. She said they never had any disagreements about their son, and she was very surprised at the charges against him. Adams' co-workers also testified that he was an excellent employee and a proud father, and they were shocked to hear of the charges against him.
Adams had no previous criminal record.
A jury convicted Adams of capital murder in March 2003 and sentenced him to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence in November 2004. All of his subsequent appeals in state and federal court were denied.
Adams' mother, brother, and sister attended his execution. Adams made no last statement, but before the lethal drugs were administered, he mouthed some words to his family. He did not look at the other witness room, from which Emma Adams and her family were watching. He was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m.
By David Carson. Posted on 23 February 2011.
Sources: Texas Attorney General's office, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, court documents, Associated Press.