A man pleaded guilty to the murder of his ex-wife and to sexual assaulting her daughter while she was dying was executed Wednesday evening. This is the first execution in Mississippi in nine years.
David Neal Cox (50) renounced all appeals and filed court papers declaring himself “worthy to die” before the state Supreme Court set his execution day. He looked calm as he was administered the lethal injection. He was declared dead by the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Parchman at 6:12 PM CST.
Cox pleaded guilty to capital murder in 2012 for the May 2010 death of Kim Kirk Cox, his estranged wife. He also pleaded guilty in 2012 to capital murder for the May 2010 shooting death of his estranged wife, Kim Kirk Cox. The death sentence was handed down by a jury.
Cox was wearing a red prison jumpsuit, which was covered with a white sheet during execution. He was secured on a gurney by leather straps.
Cox said, just before the injection began, that “I want to show my children that I love them very deeply and that at one point I was a good man.” “Don’t ever ever read anything other than the King James Bible.”
Cox thanked Burl Cains, the state corrections commissar, for being “very kind” to him. That’s all I can say.
After the lethal chemicals began flowing through a clear plastic tube into Cox’s body, Cox seemed to take several deep breathes and then his mouth started moving some. He was declared dead in a matter of minutes.
Cox’s stepdaughter, now 23 years old, was one of those who witnessed the execution. She was 12 years old when he sexually assaulted and held her and one of her younger brothers hostage in Sherman, a small town.
Mississippi carried out six executions in 2012. The state does not have any others scheduled among the more than 30 people currently on its death row.
States have had difficulty finding lethal injection drug because pharmaceutical companies blocked the use of their products to execute death sentences.
In court papers, the Mississippi Department of Corrections revealed that it had purchased three drugs for the lethal injection protocol. These were midazolam, a sedative, vecuroniumbromide, paralyzing the muscles, and potassium chloride which stops the heart.
Cain confirmed to The Associated Press Tuesday that the drugs in the court records were being used for the execution. He wouldn’t say where they were obtained by the department.
Cain, the former head of the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola before he accepted his new position in Mississippi, was present at several executions in that state. He stood by Cox throughout the execution.
Cain stated that “you couldn’t make it more beautiful than we had tonight,” Cain told reporters afterwards.
Death Penalty Action, a group that opposes executions said that the execution of an inmate who has surrendered all appeals would be considered “state-sponsored suicide.” The group had petitioned Republican Governor Tate Reeves for a halt to Cox’s execution. However, Reeves spokeswoman said that Cox had admitted to “horrific crime.”
Cox was represented in recent years by attorneys from Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Council. After the state Supreme Court set his execution date, Cox sent a handwritten statement strongly objecting to their continued involvement. Krissy Nobile, the office director said Tuesday that, after “considerable and hard deliberation”, and out of respect David Cox’s autonomy, the office had decided not to plan any further appeals.
Kim Cox was shot by Benny Kirk (retired law enforcement officer), her father. Benny Kirk called his daughter to talk on the phone and she said: “Daddy, I’m dying.”
Police arrived at the house to try to get David Cox’s wife and children out. The ordeal ended after eight hours. Kim Cox was already dead.
The Associated Press does NOT usually identify victims. However, Cox’s stepdaughter Lindsey Kirk agreed to be interviewed and to talk about what happened. Last week, she said that David Cox had abused her for a few decades when her mother was away. He threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone.
Kirk texted her mother while she was staying with her grandparents during the summer 2009 to inform her about the assaults by her stepfather. David Cox was quickly arrested and charged for statutory rape and sexual battery as well as possession of methamphetamine and child abuse. He was released without being charged with any other charges in April 2010. Kim Cox obtained a temporary restraining order and moved into her sister’s house.
Kim Cox’s family did not release a statement after execution.
Questions remained before the execution about whether David Cox was responsible in 2007 for Felicia Cox’s disappearance. Felicia was last seen in a neighboring County. Her daughter, Amber Miskelly, recently told WTVA-TV that David Cox was the last person to see her mother alive. Cain claimed that David Cox hadn’t spoken to him about his sister in law’s disappearance since the execution.
Source: CBS News