Updated Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 6:45 p.m. CDT
Before the execution, Adams apologized to the victims' families and said he hoped they could find some sort of closure.
Adams died at 6:25 p.m.
Adams was convicted in the September 2002 slaying of 37-year-old Kenneth Vandever outside Rusk. Vandever and two women were abducted during a convenience store robbery, one of the women was raped, and all three were shot.
The women survived. Richard Aaron Cobb also was sent to death row for the slaying, but his execution date has not been set.
The Tyler Paper has a reporter in Huntsville this evening and will post additional information as it becomes available.
Updated Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 4:18 p.m. CDT
The 29-year-old Adams faces lethal injection in Huntsville Thursday evening for a slaying a decade ago during an East Texas robbery where three people were shot and abducted and one of the victims was raped.
The ruling came about three hours before Adams could be taken to the Texas death chamber.
Adams' attorneys argued the justices should halt the punishment, review his case and allow Adams to pursue appeals focusing on whether his legal help at his trial and during earlier stages of his appeals was deficient.
Earlier this week, Adams won a reprieve from a federal district judge but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision, reinstating the death warrant.
The Tyler Paper has a reporter in Huntsville this evening and will post additional information as it becomes available. Check back for further information.
Updated Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 2:22 p.m. CDT
A stay of execution for a 29-year-old convict was lifted Wednesday by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Beunka Adams is set to die by lethal injection this evening in Huntsville for the September 2002 slaying of 37-year-old Kenneth Vandever outside Rusk. However, his attorneys can file a motion for a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court.
Vandever and two women were abducted during a convenience store robbery, one of the women was raped, and all three were shot. The women survived. Richard Aaron Cobb also was sent to death row for the slaying, but his execution date has not been set.
Now that the stay of execution has been lifted, Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth said he hopes justice is served and that the execution occurs. He said he spoke with Vandever's family earlier this week, and they indicated they would be in Huntsville.
After Adams won the stay of execution earlier this week, family members of Nikki Ansley, who was raped by Adams and shot, spoke publicly about their concerns with the criminal justice system.
Nikki Ansley and her family members could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday about the stay being lifted.
According to testimony, Adams gave the orders during the holdup and initiated the abductions. One of the three victims said she thought she knew Adams, so he slipped off his mask. As they arrived at a remote area, he demanded Vandever and one of the women get into the trunk of the car and raped the other woman, Nikki Ansley. Testimony also showed he forced all three to kneel as they were shot.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider in Texarkana ruled that Adams' execution should be delayed until the courts review allegations that Adams had poor legal help in the early stages of his appeals. The Texas Attorney General's Office then followed up with a motion to vacate Adams' stay of execution, claiming that the lower court “improperly granted the motion for stay without granting the motion for relief from judgment.”
Nikki Ansley's brother, Troy Ansley, said Tuesday he's spent almost 10 years as a peace officer dealing with victims, but Monday was the first time he's questioned himself.
“I push hard. You break the law, and I'm there to do everything I can to make sure there's going to be justice, but ... why does the victim get put on the back burner?” he said.
Nikki Ansley said Tuesday that she was shocked about the granting of the stay.
She said she heard various comments from people, such as that the convict is someone's loved one, but asked, “What about the victim?”
“Nikki without a shadow of a doubt knows he shot her, he raped her, he beat her, he lifted her by the pony tail, looked into her eyes. Her eyes were wide open. She was looking in his face, and he said ‘She's dead'... and dropped her, stepped across her,” she said Tuesday. “She remembers that.”Nikki Ansley called the experience, which left her with physical pain that she still endures, “pure hell” but has said she stays strong for her two children.
“I have to make it through for my two kids. I have to be there for them, and I have to watch out for them. If I stay sad and let it get to me like that, then I've let him get the best of me,” she told media.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.