BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The man accused of shooting his estranged wife to death earlier this month appeared in State Supreme Court Friday.
Adam Bennefield was arraigned on charges of second degree murder, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated criminal contempt. Bennefield is accused of killing Keaira Hudson while she was inside her car at the intersection of Shawnee and Richlawn Avenues on October 5. Hudson’s three children were in the backseat when it happened.
“This is a horrific crime allegedly committed in front of three children,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.
Flynn said Hudson’s children are now staying with family members.
Friends of Hudson’s family tell News 4 she had been in an abusive relationship with Bennefield. He was in Cheektowaga Town Court just one day before Hudson was killed for allegedly assaulting her. An order of protection was ordered on Hudson’s behalf.
“Not only was there an order of protection issued, a safety plan was issued as well to have her move out of the home and into her mom’s house,” Flynn said. “But obviously the safety plan didn’t work either.”
Because Bennefield was only charged with misdemeanors in the assault case, he was released on his own recognizance. Police say less than 24 hours later, he killed Hudson.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has been facing backlash against the state’s bail reform laws. She was asked about this case during a visit to Buffalo Friday.
“That is a tragic situation, but we did make changes to the bail laws,” Hochul said. “I’m always open to more conversations based on the data. It’s only been in effect for a fairly short time, but we’re also focusing on gun violence overall.”
If convicted of all charges, Bennefield faces a maximum of life in prison. He is scheduled to be back in court next month.