Annette Black and her family have waited 22 years for justice.
Chadwick Banks, 43, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on Thursday for a crime he committed over two decades ago. In 1992, the Florida man from Gadsden County murdered his wife and then raped and killed his stepdaughter.
Black, now 67 with a resigned demeanor, still lives in the Gadsden County community where her daughter Cassandra Banks, 30, and her 10-year-old granddaughter Melody Cooper were killed. The day following the murders she told the Democrat she had no anger toward Chadwick Banks.
Twenty-two years later she still feels that way.
“I’ve waited 22 years. I’ve never believed that my husband and I would live to see justice,” Black said Monday. “I’m not mad with him. I don’t hate him. He started something and this is the end of it.”
Banks, who was 21 at the time, came home at 3 a.m. after drinking at a nearby bar and shot his wife, Cassandra, point blank while she was sleeping. After that, he went into his stepdaughter Melody’s room, where he told police following his arrest that he “spanked” her and then molested her for about 20 minutes.
Banks claims that Melody did not resist his advances, but investigators say evidence tells a completely different story. Blood was found underneath Melody’s fingernails and pillowcase. She also had a bruise and cut on her face, and Banks’ DNA was found inside of her after he sodomized her. Forensic experts say that, given the position of Melody’s body, Banks’ had to pull her head far back enough to shoot her through her skull.