'Today's a Day for Adam,' Child's Killer Says at Execution

Oklahoma executes Richard Stephen Fairchild for 1993 murder of 3-year-old
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 18, 2022 3:53 AM CST
Oklahoma Executes Man for 1993 Killing of 3-Year-Old
This undated photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows Richard Fairchild.   (Oklahoma Department of Corrections via AP, File)

Oklahoma executed a man Thursday for the torture slaying of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son in 1993, the third of four scheduled executions in the US over a two-day stretch. Richard Stephen Fairchild, who turned 63 on Thursday, received a lethal three-drug combination at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Fairchild, an ex-Marine, was convicted of killing Adam Broomhall after the child wet the bed. Prosecutors say Fairchild held both sides of Adam’s body against a scorching furnace, then threw him into a table. The child never regained consciousness and died later that day. Strapped to a gurney inside the death chamber, Fairchild thanked his attorneys and prison staff and apologized to Adam's family, the AP reports.

"Today's a day for Adam, justice for Adam," Fairchild said. "I'm at peace with God. Don't grieve for me because I'm going home to meet my heavenly father." Michael Hurst, the slain child's uncle, said the boy would have been 34. "Our long journey for justice has finally arrived," Hurst said, adding that he was surprised to hear Fairchild express remorse for killing his nephew. "He hadn't said that in 30 years." Prosecutors from the Oklahoma attorney general's office had described the boy's killing as torture when they wrote to the state's Pardon and Parole Board, which voted 4-1 last month against recommending clemency for Fairchild.

With Fairchild's execution, Oklahoma has now put to death seven people since it resumed carrying out executions in October 2021. In that time, the state has carried out more executions than neighboring Texas, which since 1976 has executed far more people than any other state. Fairchild's execution was the 16th in the US this year—including one in Texas and one in Arizona on Wednesday—up from last year’s three-decade low of 11. An execution scheduled for later Thursday in Alabama was eventually called off after officials who were up against a midnight deadline couldn’t find a suitable vein to inject the lethal drugs. Three more executions are scheduled in the US for the remainder of 2022—one each in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Idaho, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. (Read more execution stories.)

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