The man who pleaded no contest last month to murdering his wife in March by stabbing her in the neck was sentenced to 43 years to life in state prison on Monday.
Bryan James Adams, 44, was arrested after his wife Christine Hix Adams, 44, of Visalia, was found dead in the guest room of a house in Challenge from a stab wound to the neck on March 10. In August, Bryan Adams pleaded no contest to first-degree murder, inflicting corporal injury to a spouse, and assault with force.
Bryan Adams was out on bail in a previous assault case when he murdered his wife in Yuba County. The stipulated plea agreement was for Bryan Adams to serve 43 years to life in state prison. Several members of Christine Hix Adams’ family were present in Yuba County Superior Court on Monday and three of them made impact statements in court during the sentencing hearing.
The victim’s mother Donna Hix said she’s struggled to have one complete night of sleep since finding out that her daughter had been killed. She said Bryan Adams not only took away someone that the family loved but someone who loved him unconditionally.
“What Bryan did was unforgivable,” Donna Hix said.
Christine Hix Adams’ sister Barbara Hix said she was “cheated” from spending more time with her older sister.
“Not a day goes by that we don’t miss her,” Barbara Hix said. “... Every day is a constant struggle ... Why wasn’t it me instead of her?”
After Barbara Hix spoke, Yuba County Superior Court Judge Julia Scrogin consoled the family by saying there’s nothing they could have done to prevent what happened.
“What happened was an awful, evil act ... it’s all his fault,” Scrogin said.
Christine Hix Adams’ sister-in-law Dana Hix was the last family member to speak. She spoke of the positive impact Christine Hix Adams had on her and others’ lives. She described how her son was too young to understand what had happened and that he would have to be told one day.
“I don’t look forward to that day,” Dana Hix said.
She spoke to Bryan Adams telling him to spend his time in prison making a positive impact in the world.
“You have hurt our family in a way that is difficult to put into words,” Dana Hix said.
Yuba County Senior Deputy District Attorney Monique McDevitt said Bryan Adams could apply for California’s elderly parole program. If he qualified, he would have a parole hearing after serving 25 years of his sentence. She said there is no guarantee that parole would be granted if he was granted a hearing at 25 years.
“If he does not qualify, his first parole hearing will be held after he serves 43 years,” McDevitt said in an email.
After serving five years for two counts, he will serve an indeterminate term of 38 years to life for murder. An indeterminate term is one that could be served for the rest of a defendant’s life.