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Monday, October 20, 2014 - 11:06am

East Texas man's final hours on death row

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POSTED: Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 7:20pm

UPDATED: Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 3:12pm

"Our system is going through a punishment that these guys deserve, that's the only closure that I'm going to be getting, once the second execution is taken place," says Nikki Daniels, Survivor.

An East Texas man, 29-year old Richard Aaron Cobb of Cherokee County, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection.

In 2002, Cobb and his co-defendant Beunka Adams, kidnapped three victims from BDJ's convenience store in Rusk.

Adams and Cobb were convicted of murder and rape, both men were sentenced to death in 2004.

One victim was murdered and two survived.

Adams was executed by lethal injection on April 26, 2012, one year later, Cobb is scheduled to be put to death on Thursday, April 25, 2013, at the Huntsville 'Death Door Step' at 6 p.m.

Cobb's final hours on death row.

"There's plenty of remorse, the whole situation was, I was 18, at the time, I was very immature. I had a lot of teen angst so angst looking back at the whole last year just filled with regret. My life is a regret," says Richard Cobb, Death Row Inmate.

It was after midnight, September 2, 2002. Adams and Cobb robbed BDJ's convenience store in Rusk, Texas.

"Adams and Cobb committed two aggravated robberies in Jacksonville within about 10 days of this," says Elmer Beckworth, former District Attorney of Cherokee County.

In the store, there were two clerks, Candice Driver and Nikki Daniels, and customer Kenneth Vandever who was mentally challenged.

Former Cherokee County District Attorney, Elmer Beckworth, who is now a prosecutor in Angelina county, tells KETK, they were kidnapped.

"Took them them to a location near Alto out in the country," said Beckworth.

Driving about 12-miles from the store to a pea-patch, 29-year-old Nikki Daniels was raped by Adams, while the other two victims had a 12-gauge shotgun held to them.

"But with Cobb carrying the shot gun up to the point when it happened," said Beckworth.

Beckworth says, all three were forced to kneel. Daniels persuaded them to leave them alone.

"Adams shot one of the victims, the other victims fell down pretending to be shot," said Beckworth.

More shots were fired at all three. Nikki Daniels was shot in the back, a divot is still in her flesh.

Kenneth Vandever did not survive.

"I played dead and my body... I went still and kept my eyes open," says Nikki Daniels.

The other female victim, Driver, played dead as well.

"Kept saying are you bleeding are you bleeding? If you don't tell me I'm going to shoot you,"  repeated Beckworth.

Beckworth says, Cobb and Adams walked over to Daniels.

"And kept saying to her are you hit? She stayed quiet, then both of them viciously began to kick her all over her body to try to make her cry out as she was alive, said the attorney.

"They picked me up by my ponytail," said Nikki Daniels, Survivor.

Adams and Cobb's thought she was dead and dropped her.

"After they dropped me, after hearing them walk off and the car start," says Nikki Daniels, Survivor.

Daniels says, she wasn't sure what else was going to happen wondering if they were going come back.

"By the good Lord I feel, I feel he had his hand on me the whole night and whenever I realized I had to play dead it was an ease that came over my body and it was a protection.,"

Daniels thought Driver and Vandever were dead.

"I walked up back the same way that we pulled down to the pea-patch."

She walked one mile to a house to get help.

"I has a collapsed lung, and broken ribs and the gunshot wound, so I was fighting to walk for a bit to try to get help," the victim stated.

Both men were charged with murder and sexual assault. They had years of appeals, but were denied.

"So for closure, it's only closure since our system is following through with what they should be following through," said Daniels.

"She copes today with her children very well, she copes with it on a daily basis, it's just awesome, she's got two wonderful kids," said Melinda Ansley, Nikki's mother.

"I feel that they were out- smarted that night and that was what saved our lives." said Nikki Daniels.

Daniels was a witness to Beunka Adams execution in 2012. Before his death, she had the opportunity to speak to him.

"I wanted him to know that what he thought he was accomplishing that night whenever he was looking into my eyes and I was staring back into his I wanted  my eyes to haunt him into the day he was put  to death."

Daniels and Driver remain friends.

Daniels and along with her family will witness Richard Cobb's execution.

"Everyone that was hurt, everyone that was destroyed....what happened, worse...there's a bunch of remorse. I wish I can go back in time and it never would have happened," says Richard Cobb, Death Row Inmate.

During the recent death row interview, Cobb told Ben Tinsley of The Jacksonville Daily Progress, there really isn't much left he can do to delay his execution.

Cobbs says quote: "I accept it, you know what I mean? For what it is, there's no getting away from it. At the same time, I don't want to die, but I'm ready to die," says Richard Cobb, Death Row Inmate.

Nikki Daniels final words, "I was in a victim's place that night... but came out a survivor."


THIS STORY WAS DEVELOPED THROUGH A JOINT EFFORT WITH BEN TINSLEY AT THE JACKSONVILLE DAILY PROGRESS



 

Comments News Comments

Texas takes care of business.I wish other states like mine did also.these vile evil killers got what they deserved.

It's always about WHY the crime happened..young, dumb, drugs, childhood..blah blah. Weren't we All when we were younger? I know I smoked pot..lots of us from broken homes..but we partied, danced, dated..maybe wrecked our cars or shit like that..BUT NO ONE WAS RAPED, MURDERED OR TORTURED..U DID WHAT YOU DID BECAUSE YOU'RE A PUNK ASS KILLER..EVIL! My fiance' of 10 yrs. was murdered by Steven Staley in TX in 1989..he's still on DRow! Judge is forcing meds on him 4 Schizo..that'll go on 4ever.

The truth is we are doing it to our self. Some people want to believe that there child " wouldn't do such a thing". Actually, your bring up a child that thinks he can get away with anything, until life catches up with his evil doings . Then and only then do we " Parents" try to to be stern with our now " problem child" . As the world focus in with hate and Judgement cause now the problem is at your door step. Wake-up, there is no perfect little angles without correction & rules to follow.

VERY TRUE !!!!

Finally doing what should have been done years ago according to the bible. Execute them and send them to God for judgement.

On a positive note, if there is one.... there is closure.

No one should ever have to experiece what these people faced. My prayers go out to them & to their families. I too would have liked to have seen a more fitting punishment for these heinous acts that were committed. Sadly due to pressures made by bleeding heart liberals in our government, today's punishment has little or no effect in satisfying our feelings of fairness. It leaves the criminal to hide any human feelings of remorse or physical & emotional pain by going to sleep and never waking up.

There are times when we I realize that the death penalty, in it's present form, is simply not enough. When I read the words; "I'm ready to die", made by a guy like this then, we're making this too easy. I knew those kids who pulled the legs off of grasshoppers and dropped them helpless onto ant mounds, they grew-up ok becoming conscientious adults. I know in other nations people are stoned to death or publicly hung. I'd have no problem burning this guy at the stake. It may make others reconsider

Does anybody proofread this stuff before it's posted for the whole world to see? It's hard to read when you have to go back and re-read sentences because of all the typos. Professionals who use the written word to communicate shouldn't make so many mistakes.

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