February 23, 2011 / 1:59 AM / in 8 years

Texas executes man who killed his young son

AUSTIN, Tex. (Reuters) - A man who shot and killed his 19-month-old son in 2002 was executed Tuesday evening, the second prisoner to be put to death in Texas this year.

Timothy Wayne Adams killed his son Tim during a standoff with police that followed an argument between Adams and his wife, according to an account by the Texas attorney general’s office. The boy died from two bullet wounds to the chest, the account said.

“My wife was hurtin’ me, she was keeping him away from me,” Adams told a police officer, according to the attorney general’s office. “I was gonna take him out and me too.”

Adams’ family members and lawyers argued that his actions on that day were out of character and that he was not a danger to anyone. Last week, they publicly called on the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Gov. Rick Perry to spare Adams’ life, saying the family had already suffered enough with the loss of one relative. The board, which makes recommendations to the governor, rejected the request.

According to the attorney general’s office, evidence of the threat from Adams included testimony by his wife that Adams followed her and once told her that he hoped to catch her with another man so that he could kill them “right then and there.”

Adams was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m., said Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He did not make a final statement before the lethal injection. He just stared at his family members, Clark said.

For his last meal, Adams requested fried chicken, french fries, lemon cake, root beer and Sprite, Clark said.

The execution was the eighth in the United States this year. Texas executed 17 people in 2010, down from 24 in 2009. The state has executed more than four times as many people as any other state since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Adams’ execution used the drug sodium thiopental, a sedative in short supply. Texas said its supplies of the drug expire in March. Some other states have moved to another drug, pentobarbital, which is sometimes used to euthanize animals.

Editing by Greg McCune

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