David Cox, 50, sexually assaulted his young stepdaughter in front of her dying mother, Kim Cox, who was shot and left to suffer for hours during a hostage situation in Mississippi
A monster who shot his estranged wife and sexually assaulted his stepdaughter in front of the dying mother has been executed.
David Cox, 50, was killed by lethal injection on Wednesday for the capital murder of Kim Cox, who was left to suffer and bleed to death for hours after being shot in the arm and stomach.
Ms Cox was still alive as her abusive and drug-addicted husband sexually assaulted her 12-year-old daughter multiple times and tortured her family, at one point even calling her father and handing the phone to her.
Two of her three children watched her die during an eight-hour hostage situation that ended when police finally stormed a home in the US town of Sherman, Mississippi.
Cox, who asked if he would feel any pain, was pronounced dead at 6.12pm local time on Wednesday after a lethal cocktail of three drugs was administered.
His last words were: “I want my children to know that I love them very much and I was a good man at one time. And don’t ever read anything but the King James Bible and I wanna thank the commissioner for being so kind to me. And that’s all I got to say.”
Cox left behind a mystery letter thought to relate to the 2007 disappearance of his sister-in-law Felicia Cox, whose body has never been found. Felicia Cox’s daughter, Amber Miskelly, believes David Cox had something to do with it as he was the last person to see her alive.
After the execution, reporters asked corrections Commissioner Burl Cain about Felicia Cox’s disappearance. He said David Cox mentioned he had left a letter that would be put in the post after his death.
Mr Cain said Cox had expressed remorse and was calm and “upbeat” in the days before the execution.
He added: “I think he qualified it best when he said, ‘I wasn’t always that bad’.”
The killer, a former truck driver, ordered fried catfish, French fries, cornbread and banana pudding for his last meal.
Members of Ms Cox’s family, including Lindsey Kirk, her daughter who was sexually assaulted, had planned to watch the execution at the state prison at Parchman.
Cain told reporters: “He was OK and ready to go. He talked about closure to the victims, particularly to his sons, because, you know, for taking their mom and so forth.
“That’s a good thing. He’s pretty normal at this time. One thing that moved this one along is that he wanted the execution.”
Mississippi prison officials said they did not foresee any complications during the execution, and would use midazolam, the same sedative used in the October 28 execution of 60-year-old John Marion Grant in Oklahoma.
After being injected, the first of three drugs used in lethal injections, Grant began convulsing and vomiting, The Oklahoman reported.
“That’s not going to happen here,” said Mississippi Department of Corrections Assistant Deputy Commissioner Leo Honeycutt.
Cain later said of the execution that it ‘could not have been more smooth’ adding: “No glitches with this, as smooth as this can be.”
Before the execution, Ms Kirk, now 23, told the Daily Journal that she felt torn and, as a Christian, didn’t want to hate anyone.
She said: “I am conflicted. If I am happy about it, then I’m a bad person because someone is dying.
“But then I don’t want to be sad about it because I’m not going to miss him.”
In her first interview, Ms Kirk admitted she doesn’t know if her pain will heal or be made worse by watching Cox die on a gurney, but she feels she has to be there to witness it.
She added: “I want to be there for my mum.”
It was the state of Mississippi’s first execution since 2012 and the ninth execution in the US this year. Cox made no attempt to block the death sentence from being carried out.
Mississippi Department of Corrections)
Death penalty opponents had held a vigil outside the prison as he was executed.
The brutal killing took place on a Friday night in May 2010, just months after Cox had been charged with sexually assaulting his stepdaughter.
Ms Cox left him and moved out with her daughter from a previous relationship and the couple’s two young sons.
She was staying with her sister, Kristie Salmon, and had been planning to go to a women’s shelter with her children the following Monday.
That Friday night, however, Cox shot his way into the home using a handgun he had just purchased, and turned the firearm on his wife.
Ms Salmond was able to grab one of her nephews and flee to a neighbour’s home.
Cox barricaded himself inside as police arrived and took Ms Cox and the two children hostage for eight hours.
At one point, he called her parents to taunt them, and handed the phone to their daughter. She told him she was dying as Cox made her beg for her life to her family and hostage negotiators.
“He wanted me to know how bad it was,” Ms Cox’s father, Benny Kirk, told the Clarion Ledger.
Cox then threatened to kill the entire family.
Armed police stormed the home at about 3am after Cox stopped talking to them.
Mr Kirk, a former police officer, had planned to watch the execution and was looking forward to getting closure.
He said : “I knew that the only way that he was not going to get out and kill anybody else would be death row. It’s time for it to be over with.”
Cox was sentenced to death in 2012 after pleading guilty to murder, sexual assault and other charges.
He had been asking the courts for years to move forward with his execution, WLBT reported.
In one court filing, he said: “I am worthy of death and I do not wish to challenge the State of Mississippi any further.”