The mother of a 30-year-old Buffalo woman who was ruthlessly murdered by her estranged husband last month blames two people for her daughter’s death — the killer and the woman who’d enabled him, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.
“She should be charged for the crime. She’s also responsible for the crime,” Tammy Hudson, the mother of Keaira Bennefield, told the New York Post this week, referencing the governor.
The fact is that Keaira’s killer, Adam Bennefield, shouldn’t have been out on the streets when he murdered but was free nevertheless because of the no cash bail law that Hochul has stubbornly refused to nix.
Tragic and preventable. That’s what police are saying after Keaira Bennefield was fatally shot while sitting her car. Police are still looking for Adam Bennefield, who is considered a person of interest in this WNY mother’s death. Info? Call 911 pic.twitter.com/wCwTwlnNWJ
— Breanna Fuss (@BreannaFuss) October 7, 2022
Flashback to Sept. 28th, when Keaira posted a horrifying 8-minute video to Facebook that showed her being brutally beaten by Adam.
“She had set up two surveillance cameras from opposite angles in her Cheektowaga apartment. The video shows her walking away from the front door, and then a man tackling her to the floor. He punched her in the stomach and then repeatedly hit, slapped and kicked her as she writhed on the floor,” according to The Buffalo News.
“The video shows him holding her down at times and then standing over her, as he appeared to take cell phone photos of her, the flash of the camera flickering against his shirt. He paced around, and then cornered her against a door and pulled at her pants,” The Buffalo News reported mid-last month.
A week after Keaira posted the video, Adam was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors. Thanks to New York’s no-cash bail law, he was immediately released.
The Buffalo News notes specifically that “[b]ecause of the level of the charge, under state law, Adam Bennefield didn’t have to post bail to be released.”
The judge also wasn’t allowed to factor in his past criminal history: “He was convicted of stealing a car and using it to cut off an ex-girlfriend’s vehicle. He then forced the ex-girlfriend and her friend to drive at gunpoint to Grand Island as police chased them. While awaiting trial, he escaped from the jail. He served 15 years in prison.”
The day after he was released for beating Keaira, Adam tracked her down and killed her.
“The next morning, on Oct. 5, the 30-year-old mother put on a bulletproof vest and prepared to drive her three children to school. Keaira Bennefield was staying at her mother’s house, and she put on the vest because she was terrified of her estranged husband, according to a family representative,” The Buffalo News reported.
“While on her way to the school drop-off, she sat in her car near the intersection of Shawnee and Richlawn avenues in Buffalo’s Fillmore-Leroy neighborhood. According to authorities, Adam Bennefield rammed his car into hers, got out of his vehicle, pulled out a shotgun and fatally shot her. Her children were in the backseat.”
Afterward, he reportedly led police on a week-long manhunt:
Adam Bennefield has been arraigned on murder in the second degree, criminal contempt and endangering the welfare of a child. He has been remanded without bail. Bennefield is accused of killing his estranged wife, Keaira Hudson. He then led police on a weeklong manhunt. pic.twitter.com/QYFWAEKVqa
— Marlee Tuskes (@MarleeTuskesTV) October 21, 2022
“The kids had blood all over their clothes and he walked away and knew to hide,” Hudson said of her daughter’s murder.
“You planned it, you plotted it, you were upset, and you said, ‘I’m going to go do this to her.’ She was planning to leave him, and he was going to stop her,” she added.
Regarding New York’s no cash bail law that was implemented during the tenure of disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, his successor, Hochul, implemented a few minor reforms in March, but they’ve done virtually nothing to stymie crime.
Indeed, speaking with the Post, Hudson said the reforms were just a “distraction.”
“It’s not real, it’s just something that you think will shut us people up. But we need to be heard as people who are going through it. Steps need to be taken. I’m sick of the, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, is there anything I can do?’ when there’s nothing you can do, because that person won’t ever come back again,” she said to the Post.
“She failed me. She let me down and my daughter down, and she needs to make a change with the bail reform,” Hudson added.
Especially in regard to situations involving domestic violence.
“There needs to be real consequences for domestic violence, because she was screaming for help on Facebook, and to friends and family,” Hudson noted.
Even New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a fellow Democrat like Hochul, has previously complained about the state’s bail law.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) August 4, 2022
But contacted by the Post, a spokesperson for the governor refused to acknowledge Hudson’s concerns about the no cash bail law and instead issued a statement about Hochul’s alleged interest in keeping New Yorkers safe.
“Governor Hochul’s top priority is to keep New Yorkers safe, which is why she worked with the legislature to crack down on gun crimes and repeat offenders and further expand the types of cases where judges have the discretion to set bail, and strengthened Red Flag Laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, including domestic abusers,” the spokesperson said.
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