Time is running out for Richard Aaron Cobb, scheduled to be executed April 25 for the Sept. 2002 shooting death of a mentally-challenged Rusk convenience store customer.
Cobb and co-defendant Beunka Adams, 29, were on the tail end of a two-week robbing spree when they kidnapped Kenneth Vandever, 24, and two female clerks and took them to a Cherokee County field. There, they sexually assaulted at least one of the women, forced all three to kneel on the ground, and shot them all from behind.
Vandever was killed. The two women were left for dead in the field and survived. One of them fled to a nearby home to get help.
Cobb, who was subsequently convicted of capital murder and sentenced to lethal injection in January 2004, will die almost exactly a year after co-defendant Adams was executed.
The convicted capital murderer will turn 29 next month, shortly before he is executed. He been on death row for a decade and has all but exhausted his appeals.
“There's really nothing left to do,” Cobb said during a recent jailhouse interview from Death Row in Livingston. “ … I accept it, you know what I mean? For what it is. There's no getting away from it. At the same time I don't want to die, but I'm ready to die.”
A videotape of this interview will be posted soon to the Jacksonville Daily Progress webpage.
On advice from an attorney, Cobb declined to address specifics in the rape and murder.
“It was the biggest mistake of my life,” Cobb said.
Cobb is no longer the young man he was when he was sent away. His hair is gone, shaved off, and he has the wear and tear of a Death Row decade stamped squarely on his face.
During the interview, Cobb appeared amicable – despite a growing reputation among Death Row guards as a troublemaker. At one point, Cobb apparently managed to sneak a cell phone into jail – a huge infraction.