A mother of three in New York state was killed in front of her children less than 24 hours after her estranged husband was released with no bail for allegedly beating her.

Adam Bennefield, 45, who has a prior conviction for kidnapping another woman at gunpoint, is now charged with fatally shooting his 30-year-old wife, Keaira Bennefield, the New York Post reported. She was killed around 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 5 after he rammed her vehicle. 

Moments earlier, Keaira had donned a bulletproof vest to take her children, ages 6 months to 9 years, to school in Buffalo. Adam Bennefield allegedly rammed the vehicle and got out and shot her in front of the children. 

He had been released from police custody hours earlier following an arrest for beating his wife. She posted a video of the alleged assault on Facebook that showed her being kicked and punched.  


Adam Bennefield, 45, allegedly killed his estranged wife hours after being released from police custody on no bail. 
(Buffalo Police Department)

Cheektowaga Police responded to the domestic violence call and obtained an arrest warrant for Bennefield for harassment. Responding officers said Keaira didn’t need to be hospitalized and told her to call if her estranged husband returned to the home.

Adam Bennefield was arrested after the Facebook footage was shown to police. 

“This is what this man dose to me but i’m always treated like i’m the abuser!” she posted on the social media website. 

However, he was only charged with a string of misdemeanor crimes, including third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree menacing and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.

On Oct. 4, a judge issued an order of protection for Keaira and released her husband, saying he was not permitted to require that he post bail for the low-level charges, despite his previous conviction. 

“There was zero evidence for anything higher than that,” Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said. “The charges were correctly charged. The judge had no choice but to release this person.”

Adam Bennefield is now charged with murder, aggravated criminal contempt and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He has pleaded not guilty. 

The killing highlights the issue of bail reform, which opponents have cited for an increase in crime. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has slammed bail reform laws as “insane” following multiple violent crimes committed by offenders released back onto the streets with pending charges. 


“They say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing repeatedly, but expect different results,” Adams told reporters over the summer. “Our criminal justice system is insane. It is dangerous, it’s harmful, and it’s destroying the fabric of our city. Time and time again, our police officers make an arrest and then the person who is arrested for assault, felonious assault, robberies and gun possession is finding themselves back on the street within days — if not hours — after the arrest. And they go on to commit more crimes within weeks, if not days.”

He added there is a need for reform but that a few people are taking advantage of the laws to commit crimes. 

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