In August 2023, David Wayne Adams, of Pisgah, was found guilty by a jury in Jackson County on three counts of Sexual Abuse of a Child under 12; three counts of Rape 2nd degree; three counts of Sodomy 2nd degree; two counts of Enticing a Child for Immoral Purposes; one count of Production of Obscene Matter with a Child under 17; and one count of Sexual Abuse 2nd degree.
Adams has been incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail since September 2021. Today a sentencing hearing was held in the Jackson County Circuit Judge M. Brent Benson’s courtroom.
Adams was represented by his defense attorney Jayson Carroll. The state was represented by Jackson County District Attorney Jason Pierce and Assistant District Attorney Krystina Jackson.
Benson began by requesting that the audience maintain their demeanor, although he understood the seriousness of the case and the emotions involved. He also requested that names of victims be omitted for their privacy.
Pierce began by stating the Defendant should be sentenced based on the Habitual Felony Offender Act due to a conviction in Wayne County, Michigan in 1990 on the charge of Possession with Intent and a charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance in 2016 from Dekalb County, Alabama.
The State’s first witness, who will be referred to as Witness 1 for privacy purposes, testified that the crimes of the Defendant had an immeasurable effect on her family member. She showed a photo of a young child, who appeared to be between the age of 8 and 10 years old, the victim, and explained that the victim met a friend after moving to Jackson County from another state, who she thought would be her best friend. Little did she know that this would result in the victim’s greatest war. Witness 1 stated the mental, physical and emotional damage done to the victim took a great toll on her. Witness 1 stated that the victims are still dealing with the things that were done to them, many years later. Witness 1 stated that Benson was appointed by man and by God to do justice for the victims, with the ability to impose a sentence that is just in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the society. Witness 1 requested that when sentencing be made, it be made in great reverence. She asked that Benson listen to God and impose a sentence that was right and appropriate.
The State’s second witness, who will be referred to as Witness 2 for privacy purposes, testified that she would rather have been doing something different than to be at the sentencing hearing. She stated she wonders if she will ever know true happiness or if she will always be in survival mode. Witness 2 stated if you looked at her life from the outside, you’d see a young couple, who have been together for over ten years, with one son. Witness 2 stated she was overjoyed when she found out she would have a son instead of a daughter because she was terrified of trying to protect a daughter, because she wasn’t safe as a young girl. Witness 2 stated she wants to teach her son to be loving and caring, a gentleman and the type of man who would never take a young, drunk girl home to victimize her. She stated she wants her child to be the type of man who would protect the child because that’s what decent human beings do. Witness 2 stated for years, she has been afraid to look toward her own future with hope and has been worried everyday she would continue to see pain and shame. Witness 2 stated that the Defendant broke her trust and she will be fighting for the rest of her life because of what he did to me. She stated she knows the truth that people like the Defendant exist and as long as they’re walking around, no one is safe. Witness 2 asked Benson to take in consideration every truth she shared and every action he took against her, so that he could never do this to another child.
The State’s third witness, referred to as Witness 3 for privacy purposes, stated that she has worked with the victims who were each reluctant, scared, hurt, angry and ashamed to come forward and participate in the prosecution process. Witness 3 stated each of the victims were merely little girls when the Defendant came into their lives. Witness 3 testified that each aspect of the victims’ lives have been impacted. The victims have struggled with addiction, personal relationships, relationships with their children and their parents. The victims felt anger and feared for their safety, even at school because they lived in a small community and were victimized at a place directly in front of their school. Witness 3 also testified that the victims struggled with anxiety, depression, nightmares, self-esteem issues, shame and that the impact will immensely affect each of the forever. Witness 3 stated that it was important for the Court and the Defendant to know how the victims persevered through their circumstances and have continued to fight, show resilience and show that they are not defined by the acts of their abusers. Witness 3 requested that Benson send a message to the Defendant that there is no amount of time or money that will erase what has been done to the victims. Witness 3 requested that Benson send a message that, “We care, and we stand beside them.”
Pierce proceeded to read a letter from a victim who stated she was a sweet and innocent child until the age of 9, when she moved to Alabama. The victim, in the letter, stated she met a friend and felt she belonged until she began spending the night with her, and her views changed. The victim stated that Adams abused her and many other children. She stated he made her feel alone and embarrassed, and as a child, when she would close her eyes, she could see him looking back at her. The victim stated that she was distant from all men because she was afraid. Adams had it made, according to the victim, because for over a decade she lived in agony, and he lived his life. The victim asked Benson to protect her, her as a child and other girls from Adams. She stated that he deserves to rot in a square brick building for the rest of his life.
The Defendant did not have any witnesses.
During arguments Pierce began by stating, “Who do we fear most as a parent? It’s him. It’s the predator who takes advantage of children – the predator who hunts and kills adolescence, who kills innocence and who tries to kill hope and faith – the predator who imposes a life sentence on those he molests.”
Pierce stated the State joined the victims and requested the maximum sentence be imposed on each charge and that those sentences be run consecutively.
Carroll asked the Court to take into account the minimal criminal history of Adams and the absence of criminal history after the alleged events. Carroll requested leniency for Adams.
The Defendant had nothing to say.
Benson directly spoke to the Defendant during sentencing. Benson stated that the facts of the case are the most heinous acts that he’s ever heard and are among the most revolting acts that he will ever hear in this County. Benson stated that for years, Adams and his co-defendant repeatedly sodomized and raped five pre-adolescent girls ages 8 to 11. Benson stated, “You used their little bodies for your sick and twisted purposes.”
On top of the abuse, Benson stated that the co-defendant in this matter gave the children methamphetamine and marijuana to keep the children complacent so that they would come back again and again. Benson did state that there was no testimony that Adams gave the children drugs, however, there was testimony that he certainly took advantage of them after they were provided drugs. Benson stated that friendships were manipulated so that the children would return. He also stated to the children, even when at school could not get away from the nightmare because the scene of the crimes was across the street from the school. Benson stated that Adams stole the innocence of the victims way earlier than anyone should lose their innocence. Benson also stated that each child deserves a memory of a happy childhood and that was taken away for Adams’ own perverted purposes with no regard for the children. Benson stated that instead of looking back on their childhood and having good memories, these victims feel pain, shame, anger and fear. He stated that their stolen childhood can’t be returned or paid for with restitution, nor is there a sentence he could give to replace their childhoods. Benson stated that the victims’ childhoods were not only stolen, but their future was stolen as well. He stated, “Because of your sick acts, these little girls grew into women who struggled with addiction to take away their pain. These women struggle with fear, anger, anxiety and depression. For the past 15 years you’ve deprived them of happiness.”
Benson stated that he lay awake at night thinking about what to say to Adams and that the testimony of the victims played through his head. The testimony described numerous heinous acts being done to pre-adolescent little girls. Details that no child, let alone no five children could make up together. Benson stated that while he heard the testimony in Court, they were so gruesome that his mind refused to visualize the acts, for Adams sick, demented, twisted and perverted ways. Benson stated that the sentences were earned by Adams but were far less than what he deserves. He also stated that although Adams earned the sentences, they will not return the childhood of the victims, nor undo the pain that he caused. Benson also stated that he hoped the sentences will help the victims to begin to heal.
Adams was sentenced to ten life sentences, two sentences of 99 years and one sentence of 12 months. Each sentence was ordered to run consecutively. Adams will not be eligible for probation or parole.
Following the issuance of the sentences Benson stated that the Defendant was sentenced to one lifetime for each childhood he took and one lifetime for each loss of innocence he caused. Benson also thanked the victims and commended them for their bravery.
During the hearing Adams remained emotionless other than a few head shakes when he heard testimony he didn’t care for.
Jackson County District Attorney Jason Pierce stated, “On behalf of the victims and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, we are very pleased with the sentence imposed by Judge Benson. While the sentence cannot restore that which the defendant took from those innocent girls, it lets them know that they are believed, and that we all grieve for what they suffered through. Further, I am grateful that David Adams will never again be in a position to harm our children.”
by Heather Dohring