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NY governor 'should be charged for the crime': Mother of woman brutally killed in front of her children blames Kathy Hochul's cashless bail law

Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images

The grieving mother of a Buffalo woman who was killed in front of her children blamed New York Governor Kathy Hochul for supporting no-cash bail. The mother told the New York Post that Hochul was "also responsible for the crime."

What's the background?

Keaira Bennefield, a 30-year-old mother of three, was murdered by her estranged husband, Adam Bennefield, on October 5.

Adam Bennefield, 45, had a prior conviction for kidnapping an ex-girlfriend and another woman at gunpoint. He was convicted of that crime in 2000 and served a 15-year prison sentence.

Adam was arrested again in September after Keaira posted a horrific eight-minute video to Facebook that captured Adam allegedly punching, kicking, and slapping her.

As a result of the alleged domestic violence, Adam was charged with low-level offenses, including third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief, second-degree menacing, and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.

The minor misdemeanor charges against Adam prevented the judge from setting bail, and he was released.

"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."

In fear for her life, Keaira wore a bulletproof vest to drop her children off at school.

On October 5, less than 24 hours after being released from jail, Adam allegedly ambushed Keaira by crashing into her vehicle, pulled out a shotgun, and shot her. Keaira died at the scene.

Keaira's three children, ages 6 months to 9 years, were inside the vehicle at the time of the attack. Tammy Hudson, Keaira's mother, told the New York Post that the children had blood all over their clothing.

"There needs to be real consequences for domestic violence, because she was screaming for help on Facebook, and to friends and family," said Hudson.

Victim's mother blames Hochul

Hudson claimed that New York Governor Kathy Hochul's support of the cashless bail law led to her daughter's gruesome murder.

"She should be charged for the crime. She's also responsible for the crime," Hudson stated. "She failed me. She let me down and my daughter down, and she needs to make a change with the bail reform."

The grieving mother noted that the no-cash bail policy fails to protect victims.

Hochul recently changed her tune about cashless bail and noted that she would be willing to review the law, but not until January.

"We will look at the data — we'll see what's working, we'll see what's not working," Hochul said. "Six months of data is still a small sampling, but we'll be able to see what's going on and we'll be able to see the nationwide phenomenon."

Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin also pointed blame at Hochul's policies.

"Kathy Hochul claims she needs more 'data' to repeal cashless bail and give judges discretion to weigh dangerousness," Zeldin said. "The reality is that there is a ton of data, and behind these data points are victims."

"Hochul's pandering to her pro-criminal allies just cost three kids a mother," Zeldin added.

Hazel Crampton-Hays, a spokesperson for Hochul, told the New York Post, "Governor Hochul's top priority is to keep New Yorkers safe, which is why she worked with the legislature to crack down on gun crimes and repeat offenders and further expand the types of cases where judges have the discretion to set bail, and strengthened Red Flag Laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, including domestic abusers."

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