Husband who shot wife then sexually assaulted stepdaughter is executed

Husband who shot wife then sexually assaulted stepdaughter is executed

November 18, 2021

Evil husband, 50, who shot his estranged wife then sexually assaulted his stepdaughter, 12, three times in front of her while she bleeding to death is executed by lethal injection – the first in Mississippi for nine years

  • David Neal Cox, 50, wore a red jumpsuit and was covered by a white sheet as he was strapped down to a gurney for the lethal injection on Wednesday 
  • Cox shot his estranged wife Kim Kirk Cox in the stomach in May 2010
  • He sexually assaulted his stepdaughter, 12, in front of Kim as she lay dying
  • Stepdaughter Lindsey, now 23, was among those to witness the execution
  • Just before the infection started, Cox called out: ‘I want my children to know that I love them very much and that I was a good man at one time … Don’t ever read anything but the King James Bible’

An evil husband who shot his estranged wife and then sexually assaulted his 12-year-old stepdaughter in front of her as she lay dying has been executed by lethal injection.

David Neal Cox, 50, abandoned all appeals and called himself ‘worthy of death’ before he was covered in a white sheet and strapped down on a gurney in Mississippi State Penitentiary on Wednesday evening.

He pleaded guilty in 2012 after shooting dead his wife Kim Kirk Cox in May 2010. Cox had turned up to Kim’s sister’s house in the small town of Sherman where she was staying with her three children after getting a restraining order against him.

He shot Kim in the stomach and then dragged her daughter Lindsey into the room where he sexually assaulted the child three times as her mother lay dying – even as police surrounded the home and begged for Cox not to harm the children.

Lindsey, now 23, was among those to witness Cox’s execution – the first in Mississippi for nine years.

Just before the injection started, Cox called out: ‘I want my children to know that I love them very much and that I was a good man at one time … Don’t ever read anything but the King James Bible.’ 

Cox thanked the state corrections commissioner, Burl Cain, for ‘being very kind to me. And that’s all I got to say.’

He took several deep breaths after the lethal chemicals started flowing through a clear plastic tube into his body, and his mouth moved some. He was pronounced dead within a few minutes.

David Neal Cox, 50, abandoned all appeals and filed court papers calling himself ‘worthy of death’ before the state Supreme Court set his execution date. A coroner pronounced him dead at 6:12 p.m. CST at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman

Lindsey Kirk, 23, was 12 years old when her stepfather, David Neal Cox, terrorized her family, sexually assaulted her, and killed her mother, Kim Kirk Cox, in May 2010 at a home in Sherman, Mississippi. The Mississippi Supreme Court set Cox’s execution date Wednesday after he said he wanted to surrender all appeals

Kim Kirk Cox in an undated picture provided by daughter Lindsey Kirk. Kim was short in the arm and in the abdomen in 2010 by Cox, days after bumping into him at an intersection

The entrance of the Mississippi State Penitentiary, where Cox has been jailed for the past 11 years

Lindsey Kirk was 12 on May 14, 2010, at her aunt’s house, where she was staying along with her two brothers and mother.

They had been granted a restraining order against Cox. Her mother was in the back of the house filling the bathtub for her little brother.

‘A gunshot came through the screen door, and he ran in and told me not to move,’ Kirk said of her stepfather, who chased her aunt, Kristie Salmon, out of the house.  

Kirk was not in the room when her stepfather shot her mother in the arm and abdomen, but he soon took her back there.

‘Mama was laying on the floor. She was bleeding,’ Kirk said. Kirk’s brother ‘was balled up in a closet.’

Her stepfather then sexually assaulted her three times in front of her dying mother – even as police surrounded the home and tried to get Cox to release Kirk, along with her two brothers.

On the same day, Cox’s father, Benny, and stepmother, Melody Kirk, were three hours from home at a track meet with one of their children. Salmon called and told them Cox had shown up at her house and started shooting.

The Kirks immediately started driving back, and Cox called while they were on the way. Kirk said he talked to his daughter, Kim, who already had been shot.

‘I told her we was coming just as quick as we could get there,’ Benny Kirk said. ‘And she said, “Daddy, I’m dying.”’ 

Kirk said Cox blamed him, his wife and Lindsey Kirk: ‘He told me over the phone that he meant to kill all of us.’

Melody Kirk said Cox was refusing to talk to officers by the time they had arrived at Salmon’s house, so she took the role of negotiator, trying to persuade him to let the family go.

The ordeal lasted more than eight hours before officers got the three children out, recovered Kim’s body and arrested Cox. Authorities said their last confirmation of Kim Cox being alive was after midnight May 15. 

Lindsey Kirk shows a tattoo commemorating her late mother’s birthday of Jan. 12, 1970

Lindsey Kirk shows a tattoo on her neck that commemorates her late mother’s favorite animal, a dolphin

Lindsey Kirk looks at childhood photographs of herself and her late mother Kim Kirk Cox, Saturday

Lindsey Kirk shows childhood photographs of herself and her late mother Kim Kirk Cox

Lindsey Kirk told the Associated Press she misses her mother every day. To remember her, she has two tattoos: her mom’s birthdate in Roman numerals and a dolphin, her mother’s favorite animal. 

Lindsey Kirk also said that prior to the murder, Cox was collecting disability checks after injuring his back when he was working as a commercial truck driver. 

Back then, he used methamphetamine in front of Kirk, who said that her stepfather sexually assaulted her ‘for a few years’ when the family was still living under the same roof when her mother would leave. 

She said she was afraid to tell anyone because ‘he always told me that he’d kill us’ if she told on him. 

However, while staying with her grandparents in the summer of 2009, Lindsey texted her mother and told her of the assaults.

Kim Cox (left) poses with her father Benny Kirk (right) in an undated picture

Soon after that, Cox was arrested and charged with statutory rape, sexual battery, child abuse and possession of methamphetamine. He was released in April 2010, but then-wife Kim Cox already had a restraining order against him and had moved to her sister’s home with her children.

But, one day, Kim Cox saw him at an intersection from afar. She told relatives that he held his hand up like a gun and pointed it at her three times. Within a couple of days, he had killed her.    

Kim Cox’s father and stepmother describe her as a caring mother who was generous toward others. They said they didn’t know David had been abusive or her children until Lindsey spoke up.

Adding on to that, Benny Kirk said simply: ‘He’s evil.’

Questions also remain about whether Cox was involved in the disappearance of his brother’s wife, Felicia Cox, who was last seen in a neighboring county in 2007.

Her daughter, Amber Miskelly, recently told WTVA-TV that David Cox was the last person to see her mother alive. Lindsey Kirk said her mother and Felicia Cox were close friends. Benny and Melody Kirk said they wonder if Cox will confess to his sister-in-law’s death before he is executed. 

The Kirks raised Lindsey and her two younger brothers. Lindsey calls them Mamaw and Papaw, and they said she’s their angel.

The boys are now 18 and 19 years old. The couple said the younger son does not like to talk about his mother’s death or his father’s impending execution, and the older son is still fearful his father might come back and hurt him.

‘I’ve told him,’ Melody Kirk said, ‘a dead person can’t hurt anybody.’ 

Mississippi carried out six executions in 2012. The state does not have any others scheduled among the more than 30 people currently on its death row.

States have had difficulty finding lethal injection drugs because pharmaceutical companies began blocking the use of their products to carry out death sentences.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections revealed in court papers earlier this year that it had acquired three drugs for the lethal injection protocol: midazolam, which is a sedative; vecuronium bromide, which paralyzes the muscles; and potassium chloride, which stops the heart.

Cain told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the drugs listed in the court records were the ones being used for the execution.

He would not say where the department obtained them.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said earlier he wouldn’t be granting Cox last-minute clemency or a delay of execution

The lethal injection room at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi

Cain, the onetime head of the Louisiana state penitentiary in Angola, witnessed several executions in that neighboring state before he took up his new role in Mississippi. He stood by Cox during the execution.

‘You couldn´t make it more picture perfect than we had tonight,’ Cain told reporters afterward.

A group that opposes executions, Death Penalty Action, said earlier that killing an inmate who surrendered all appeals would amount to ‘state-sponsored suicide.’

The group had petitioned Republican Gov. Tate Reeves to block the execution of Cox, but Reeves´ spokeswoman said the governor declined to intervene because Cox admitted to ‘horrific crimes.’

Attorneys from the Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel represented Cox in recent years.

After the state Supreme Court set his execution date, Cox sent a handwritten statement strongly objecting to their continued involvement.

The office director, Krissy C. Nobile, said Tuesday that after ‘considerable and difficult deliberation, and out of respect for David Cox’s autonomy and stated desire,’ the office did not plan any more appeals for him.

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