Family of murdered mother can sue New York authorities for releasing their violent ex without bail

Adam Benefield has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, aggravated criminal contempt and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Photo: Buffalo Police Department / Courtesy

The family of the mother of three who was allegedly murdered by her ex-convict husband, Kearira Bennefield, is considering a lawsuit against the officials who released the man under New York state’s soft bail laws.his lawyer reported.

“The family feels the authorities dropped the ball here, resulting in a heinous act of violence and the murder of a daughter, sister and grandson,” attorney John Froman said of the potential wrongful death lawsuit to New York. Post.

The victim, 30 years old, allegedly was ambushed and fatally shot while driving her children to school on October 5, less than 24 hours after being released without bail for a beating that was caught on camera and that she had published on the social network Facebook in an urgent request for help.

“Had there not been bail reform, this individual would never have been released,” she said of Bennefield’s abusive husband.

Just three days before she was killed, she told Cheektowaga authorities: “I thought I was going to die” in the September 28 attack inside her home.

The lawyer explained to the New York outlet that he is in the early stages of legal inquiries and that he was not yet sure if the lawsuit would target state officials or local law enforcement, or both.

However, he said he has uncovered disturbing red flags.

“The whole problem is if this guy had been on the street,” Froman said.

“The police authorities had evidence that was not shared with the district attorney’s office and that would have resulted in his pretrial detention,” the lawyer said, without specifying anything else.

Meanwhile, Bennefield’s mother, Tammy Hudson, criticized the Empire State’s pro-crime bail reform laws, and thus the endorsement of Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“[Hochul] should be charged with the crime. She is also responsible for the crime,” Hudson previously told the New York Post.

Although the Democrat won re-election in Tuesday’s election, Hudson and her family urged the governor to pass a law that better compensates family members in wrongful death cases, including those that occur under no-bail laws. cash from New York, the attorney said.

A Hochul spokesman said he is “reviewing the legislation,” which passed the Senate in June.

The governor has come out in favor of cashless bail, arguing that it will help correct racial and class disparities in the justice system.

Even after a close victory over Republican Lee Zeldin, who ran a big campaign against crime in New York, the Democrat was apparently in no rush to reform the state’s controversial laws.

“I will take the time with my team and the people from Criminal Justice Services, my advisers and my legal team to think about any way we think we can improve public safety”Hochul said Thursday in Puerto Rico, where he attended an annual conference of New York Democrats.

Weeks before her death, Bennefield had pleaded with officers to protect her from her husband, who has a prior conviction for kidnapping another of the woman’s ex-partners at gunpoint.

However, Adam Bennefield was charged only with misdemeanors, which include third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree menacing, and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.

The lesser charges prevented the judge handling the case from setting bail. Following Bennefield’s murder, he was charged with second-degree murder.

The criminal pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, aggravated criminal contempt and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child at his arraignment on October 21.

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Family of murdered mother can sue New York authorities for releasing their violent ex without bail