Monday, May 7, 2007

Michael Jackson Guilty of Murder in Buried Alive Trial


Bruce Lipsky / The Florida Times-Union

Defense attorney Richard Kuritz (left) talks to his client Michael James Jackson as the jury was deliberating Monday.



JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A jury Monday convicted a man of kidnapping and burying alive a couple from St. Nicholas.

Michael James Jackson, 24, now faces the death penalty after being convicted of first-degree murder.

Last Friday, Jackson testified how he planned the robbery of Reggie and Carol Sumner, but he claimed he had no idea his friends would murder them.

Authorities found their bodies in a shallow grave just across the Florida border in Charlton County, Georgia in July 2005.Tiffany Ann Cole, 24, and Alan Lyndell Wade, 19, are awaiting trial.

Both face the death penalty as well.

Last March, Bruce Nixon, 19, pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping, two counts of robbery, and two counts of murder.

Nixon faces 52 years in prison as part of a plea bargain to testify against the others.

First Coast News reporter Kristin Smith will have the reaction from the Duval County Courthouse on First Coast News beginning at 5 p.m.

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