Christine Jones wept Thursday as she recalled the last memory she will ever have of her son: his lifeless body lying in a pool of blood just inside the front door of his father's home.
Donald Adams Jr., known as Rocky to his friends and family, was one of three men killed Tuesday in what police have called a drug-related slaying on Shaker Run Road.
Two other men were also shot to death. Rocky Adams' father, Donald Adams Sr., 57, and their friend, Ronnie Sparks, 28, were rushed to the hospital. But Rocky Adams, 33, was left inside the house for hours as police investigated. It was then that Jones lost hope; she would never speak to her son again.
She would never again see him wrestle or play PlayStation with his four children. She would never sit down to dinner with Rocky Adams and his father, Jones' ex-husband, with whom she was on good terms.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
A former neighbor and friend of the Adamses, William "Willie" Blancet, was arrested and charged with three counts of murder early Wednesday after police say he admitted during interviews to shooting the men.
For two days, Jones and her family have been devastated by the senseless execution of their family members. That pain was only made worse, Jones said, when they picked up their newspapers Thursday morning and read an article about the victims' history of dealing drugs.
Jail mug shots of the Adamses and Sparks were the only photos of the victims on the front page of the Herald-Leader. But those photos, and the printed criminal history of Donald Adams Sr. and his son obtained from court documents, did not represent the people Jones knew.
Instead, Jones remembered her son as a boy with Michael Jordan posters plastered all over his room, who loved sports so much he named one of his sons Dallas after his favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys.
"He was a good boy. He was such a good boy," she said, her voice cracking with every syllable as she wept.
Jones and several other family members met with reporters Thursday at the office of Adams Sr.'s attorney, Matt Boyd, to dispute media portrayals of her son and ex-husband.
Nobody denied that the family had been involved with drugs or that drugs played a role in the ending of three lives. Adams Sr. admitted to selling marijuana for years, Boyd said, but had never sold prescription pain pills. Rocky Adams didn't sell drugs but had gotten addicted to pain pills after years of polishing and installing hardwood floors took a toll on his back and knees, Jones said.
But Adams Sr. wasn't a big-time criminal, according to the family. He never got rich off the drug trade.
"Right now, we don't have enough money to bury him," said Adams Sr.'s brother, Michael Adams.
Selling marijuana was a necessity, they said, because the uneducated man was in such poor health he couldn't work and couldn't provide for his family on $700 per month in Social Security benefits.
"He had to do what he had to do to take care of his family," said Becky Adams, Rocky Adams' wife.
Jessica Fields, Adams Sr.'s daughter, said her father was abused as a child and kicked out of his home to fend for himself when he was 12.
As he grew older, he developed severe diabetes. He recently had a stroke and open-heart surgery, and he was undergoing testing to find out whether colon cancer was responsible for severe bowel problems, Boyd said.
Boyd was somber as he spoke of the elder Adams, whom he was representing in a drug-trafficking case. The case resulted from an illegal search warrant, he said.
Police executed the warrant after finding a green leafy substance, which Boyd said officers never tested, in Adams Sr.'s trash. Police also noticed heavy foot traffic coming to and from Adams Sr.'s home. Boyd said the traffic came from the ill man's family and friends checking up on him.
"Don has about 40 nieces and nephews and probably three times that many friends and family members," Boyd said.
Boyd and Adams Sr. were scheduled to appear in Fayette Circuit Court on Jan. 21 for a status hearing, where Boyd planned to present a motion to suppress the evidence police seized.
The family discussed specific charges in Rocky Adams' criminal history.
Christine Jones said the sexual abuse charge from Rocky Adams' juvenile years was a result of a family member trying to extort money from him. A theft by deception charge was from when he and a friend used the friend's mother's credit card to buy a video game.
Jones never asked for child support from her son, she said; a child support order with her name on it was the result of a judge's order. "He was always so good to those kids," she said.
Becky Adams, Rocky Adams' wife, disputed letters from her father to a court judge that said Rocky Adams had beaten her unconscious. Her father was mentally unstable and jealous ofher husband, who he felt had taken his only daughter away, she said.
"We had our problems, we argued, but he never laid a hand on me," she said of Rocky Adams.
Becky Adams said Willie Blancet, the man charged with killing her husband and father-in-law, was not associated with the men through drugs. He was a friend, she said, whom her father-in-law would not have hesitated to let into his home. She said Adams Sr. used to take Blancet to dinner and lend him money.
She grew quiet as she talked of Blancet, 41, who had played with her children just weeks before the shooting.
"He grinned at his arraignment," she said, staring into the distance. "He smiled."