Thursday, October 25, 2007

Man convicted in couple's slaying

Posted on Wed, Oct. 24, 2007
Man convicted in couple's slaying

The Associated Press
A Duval County jury Wednesday convicted the fourth and final person charged with killing a retired couple who were buried alive in rural Georgia.

Alan Lyndell Wade, 20, was found guilty of two counts each of first-degree murder, robbery and kidnapping. The bodies of Reggie and Carol Sumner, both 61, were found buried in a shallow grave in Georgia near the Florida state line in July 2005.

"It hurts to see these young people's lives destroyed, but ... we've suffered horribly," said the Rev. Jean Clark, Reggie Sumner's sister. "When you do something wrong, you've got to pay the price."

The same jury will recommend either life in prison or the death penalty for Wade on Nov. 15.

Wade and three other people were charged with the crimes against the Sumners.

Tiffany Cole and her boyfriend, Michael Jackson, also were convicted on the same charges. Cole will be sentenced next month while Jackson was sentenced to death.

Bruce Kent Nixon pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, robbery and kidnapping after leading police to the bodies. By agreeing to testify against the rest, he avoided the death penalty and faces 52 years to life in prison.

Cole met the Sumners in Ladson, S.C., where her stepfather was their neighbor. The Sumners had recently moved to Jacksonville. The group used the Sumners' bank card and PIN number to withdraw money from their bank account, prosecutors said.

Wade's attorney, Refik Eler, said his client was an accessory to murder after the fact. He told jurors Wade's role was limited to laundering the couples money for the real killers.

A telephone message and e-mail left by The Associated Press for Eler were not immediately returned Wednesday.

Information from: The Florida Times-Union,

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