Mother recalls last words from 3-year-old son: 'Mom, I'm going to die'

Now she's using her tragic story to help fight domestic violence

Mother recalls last words from 3-year-old son: 'I'm going to die'

GRIFTON, PITT COUNTY - On July 12, 2012, a Pitt County mother received a phone call that changed her life forever.  On the other end was Christy Adams' estranged husband, and he was yelling, cursing and threatening to kill their three-year-old son.

Video for PART ONE is above.

CLICK HERE to view the video for PART TWO.

With her husband on one cell phone, Christy called 911 on another cell phone.

911 operator: "Thank you for calling the Pitt County Sheriff's Office, this is Tommy."
Christy heard yelling to her husband in the 911 call: "No stop, please stop."

911 operator: "Has he got a weapon?

Christy: "Yes."

911 operator: : "What kind?  He has a pistol?  Is he in the room with your three-year-old son?"

Christy: "Yes, he just laid my son down and he's gonna... "

"He said he was going to hurt me like I hurt him.  He was going to kill Jesse and then kill himself," explained Christy Adams, mother of Jesse Adams.  "He put Jesse on the phone, made Jesse tell me, he said 'mom, I'm going to die tonight,' and I told him that I loved him and it would be OK.  CJ {Christy's estranged husband} snatched the phone away, and I heard this silence for a few seconds and then it was a loud pop."

911 operator: "How do you know he has a gun to your son's head?"
Christy: "He just hung up and said my son is already dead."

It was inside a mobile home on Wiley Gaskins Road in Grifton where Jesse Adams' father, CJ Adams, fatally shot his son on July 12, 2012.  CJ Adams then shot and killed himself.

"When we got there, it was very apparent from the beginning that something bad had in fact taken place," explained Pitt County Sheriff's Deputy Mason Paramore.

Deputy Paramore was one of the first on the scene that night.

During her 911 call, and then the shooting, deputies had kept Christy Adams about a mile down the road, in her car, just waiting.  "It seemed like forever - waiting, hoping, praying that police would bring my little boy out to me safe and sound," described Adams.

"I think she was under the impression that I was bringing her son to her... and that wasn't the case," Deputy Paramore added.  "I immediately spoke to my lieutenant because I was thinking in my shoes, what if that were my child, I would want the opportunity to say goodbye."

That night, two strangers became forever bonded through a friendship born of almost unspeakable tragedy.  While three-year-old Jesse Adams fought for life at the hospital 15 miles away, Deputy Paramore raced to get Christy there in time

"I remember holding her hand the whole time, we prayed together, we cried together," said Deputy Paramore.  "Unfortunately, we didn't make it in time.  We were about five minutes late."

"They said he didn't make it, and right there, I fell.  I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't think," added Adams.

Deputy Paramore explained what happened next at the hospital.  "There was a rocking chair sitting there, and she wanted to rock him to sleep one last time."  

"I sat there in the hospital room for hours, holding him, rocking him, talking to him," described Adams.  "When Jesse died, I promised him his name was not going to die in vain and if I could save one person, one kid from having to go through it, one family from having to feel the pain that we feel, it would all mean that much more.  He would have died for something instead of anger and hate."

These days, in a field of rocks bearing names and dates of birth and death, is where six-year-old Christopher comes to "play" with his little brother, Jesse.

"He doesn't deal well with everything, so we come out and he brings him all kinds of stuff," explained Adams.  "He always makes sure he gets a sucker for Jesse, and we have to bring it out here.  It shouldn't be that way."

Nor should a headstone at the cemetery in Washington in Beaufort County be all a mother has to hug.  "This is basically all I have left of him.  I mean, this is Jesse."

But what it can't show is who Jesse was.  The three-year-old blond-haired boy who loved John Deere tractors, monster trucks and his big brother, and whose nickname was chunky monkey.  "Because when he was a baby, he was chunky.  He was a fat little baby with these cheeks, so I nicknamed him chunky monkey, and it just stuck."

Nor does a headstone show how Jesse Adams died, how following years of domestic violence, Jesse's father shot and killed his son.

"I think about how guilty I am.  I'm his mother, I should have protected him, I should have stopped it," said Christy Adams.

But while she couldn't stop the murder of her little boy, Christy Adams hopes she can stop it from happening to other families.  She's doing this by starting the Jesse Ray Adams Foundation and by getting out her story of domestic violence.

Adams said, "anybody that will listen, I tell them my story.  Anyone I can help, I help."

Recently, Christy told her story to the crowd at a victim's rights week event in Greenville. "I go out and I speak to high school kids to let them know what anger and hate and bullying and violence can do to people, what the end result is."

"When you've got somebody who has lived that, who has a story to tell such as Christy has to tell, I think it has a greater impact.  This is a person who's been there and done that," explained Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks.

"I tell them about the five years I was with CJ - the verbal abuse, the emotional abuse - there was only one physical altercation, but I tell them about all of it."  Christy Adams tells them how, for her family, the abuse started small - controlling and emotional - but it grew and grew.  In the end, it stole a part of her, it stole Jesse.  "{CJ} knew that was the one way he could hurt me for life, and he succeeded, he definitely succeeded."

But Christy is succeeding too and for the positive.  She is determined to stay strong for Christopher, determined to share her strength with other women fighting domestic violence and determined to live every day to the fullest - every day for Jesse - no matter how hard that might be.  "I hope it will get easier, but deep down I know it will never go away.  That pain will always be there, that hole in my heart will never go away."

Christy Adams says talking about what happened to her son is also therapy for her and helps get her through it all.

To learn about the Jesse Ray Adams Foundation, CLICK HERE.

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