A judge has sentenced a man to 30 years in prison for a 2018 shooting that happened at the Bergey Windpower plant in Norman, Oklahoma.
As The Oklahoman reported this week, a woman who nearly lost an arm in the shooting testified during the sentencing of William Ray Adams.
Colette Wind walked to the podium to address her assailant, her misshapen right arm a reminder of the day she came to the aid of a co-worker and got shot for her trouble.
William Ray Adams sat about 20 feet away wearing handcuffs and orange jail clothes and a face covering.
“You altered my life and my future and it will never be the same,” Wind told Adams on Wednesday in the Cleveland County courtroom of District Judge Thad Balkman.
No longer could she play softball and volleyball with her daughters, she told the court. A shotgun blast that nearly severed her forearm and required seven surgeries had robbed her of those and other simple pleasures.
“What you did to me in that moment will never rule over me,” she said. “I pray that you may find peace in what you have done.”
Adams walked into Bergey Windpower, 2200 Industrial Blvd., on Jan. 10, 2018, looking for his estranged wife. Lisa Adams had left her husband after years of physical and emotional abuse and was living in a domestic violence shelter.
The accounting assistant was seated at the desk next to Wind, the company’s chief financial officer, when the armed man wearing a gas mask and a “big coat” entered the building.
William Adams pointed a shotgun at his wife and demanded that she leave with him. Colette Wind intervened and tried to pull the woman from his grasp.
“In that moment I forgot everything about myself and only thought to protect your wife and remembered that God speaks to us to be servants to his will,” she told the defendant.
Adams pointed the weapon at Wind and pulled the trigger.
“In that terrible moment, when I saw my forearm go in a direction it was never meant to, I realized I had a greater purpose,” she continued. “God was watching over me in that moment. … He knew my husband and daughters still needed me. I wasn’t done yet.”
As Wind writhed in pain on the floor, Adams tried to drag his wife out of the office but was shot by another worker who grabbed the shotgun, according to court documents. Police arrived a few minutes later and an officer applied a tourniquet to Wind’s arm to help stop the loss of blood.
Adams, 57, pleaded guilty in January to attempted kidnapping, assault and battery with a deadly weapon and two other crimes. At his sentencing on Wednesday, prosecutors showed police body camera footage and played several 911 calls, including one from a frantic Lisa Adams telling a dispatcher that her husband had come to shoot her.
“What happened on that day is every single citizen’s worst nightmare,” Assistant District Attorney Jacobi Whatley told the judge. “It’s that you’re going to be in your place of work and that for no reason that you know of, a shooter comes in and starts shooting people.”
Prosecutors told Balkman that Adams had intended to kill his wife and then kill himself and deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Defense attorney Kevin Findlay argued that his client suffered from severe mental health issues and didn’t fully understand what he was doing. Findlay told the judge Adams is addressing those issues, is a changed man and shouldn’t be “thrown away.”
Balkman said he didn’t think mental illness “justifies or mitigates what Mr. Adams did” and sentenced him to 30 years in prison for the assault and battery count and 10 years each for the other crimes. The sentences will be served concurrently.
Source: The Oklahoman