The Commission on Capital Cases was not funded in the FY 2011-2012 General Appropriations Act, and the Commission ceased operations on June 30, 2011. This site and the Commission website are being retained to provide access to historical materials.

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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
JacksonMichael J34141RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
1/28/2008CC05-10263Status Conference
8/23/2010CC05-10263Status Conference
11/15/2010CC05-10263Status Conference
2/15/2011CC05-10263Status Conference
10/25/2007FSC07-2008 Direct Appeal
8/18/2008FSC07-2008 Initial brief
4/7/2009FSC07-2008Oral Arguments
9/24/2009FSC07-2008Convictions and sentences affirmed
11/3/2009USSC09-7442Petition for Writ of Certiorari
1/19/2010USSC09-7442Petition Denied

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
AndersonChristopher J.Atlantic Beach, FL645 Mayport Rd, Suite 4-G32233-3400904/246-4448Email


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date
Anderson16-2005-CF-10263-AXXXMAWeatherbyDuval 02/17/1004/21/10

Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
Direct Links

The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

The Commission on Capital Cases updates thisinformation regularly.  This information; however, is subject to changeand may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not berelied upon for statistical or legal purposes.


JACKSON, Michael James (W/M)

DC#    J34141

DOB:  05/12/82


­­­Forth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case # 2005-10263 CFAES

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Michael R. Weatherby

Attorney, Trial: Richard R. Kuritz – Registry

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Richard R. Kuritz – Registry

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Christopher Anderson,Esquire – Registry


Date ofOffense:         07/08/05

Date of Sentence:       08/29/07



Circumstances of Offense:


Michael James Jackson and codefendants Tiffany Ann Cole,Bruce Kent Nixon, and Alan Lyndell Wade were convicted for the robbery,kidnapping, and first-degree murder of James and Carol Sumner on July 8, 2005.


The group’s plan to rob the couple originated fromcodefendant Tiffany Ann Cole’s information, which was gained from a priorrelationship with the Sumners.  The Sumners had been a neighbor of Cole’s,and had sold her a vehicle in the past.  Cole and Jackson had a personalrelationship and traveled together often.  In June of 2005, they came toFlorida to visit codefendant Alan Wade.  During this visit, the Sumnerslet Cole and Jackson stay with them in Jacksonville.  While visiting,Jackson noticed that the Sumners were frail and easy targets.  The Sumnerswere in their early sixties, but dependant on various prescriptions to get byday-to-day.  Jackson then informed Wade that the Sumners were in a wealthyfinancial position due to the sale of their South Carolina home and severaltelevision sets. They also had at least $90,000 in a bank account because ofthe sales.


After visiting, Jackson, Wade, and Cole began developing aplan to rob the Sumners.  Wade invited his best friend Bruce Nixon to jointhe scheme.  Jackson and Cole were 23 years old, and Wade and Nixon were18 at the time of the crimes.  After entering a plea agreement, Nixontestified at trial that they had all planned the robbery, but Jackson was incharge.  Jackson informed the group that he would “take care” of theSumners by injecting them with a shot of medicine to cause their deaths. In preparation for the robbery, Nixon stole several shovels, and Cole rented aMazda from a rental agency in South Carolina to drive them to Florida.


The group arrived in Florida and began watching the Sumner’shouse in secret to develop strategies and logistics for the robbery. Several days before the offense, Nixon, Jackson, and Wade dug a six-foot-deephole in a remote area of Georgia.  After leaving their shovels at thegravesite, they purchased gloves, duct tape, plastic wrap, and a “toy gun” tofurther prepare for the robbery.  Video surveillance identified the groupbuying these items, and receipts were found in their motel rooms.


Finally, on the evening of July 8, 2005, Nixon and Wadeapproached the Sumner residence, while Cole and Jackson remained in the Mazda.(Cole and Jackson were identifiable by the Sumners) After Carol Sumner openedthe door, Wade asked if he could use a telephone.  Carol allowed them in,and once inside, Wade immediately ripped the telephone wire from thewall.  The toy gun was used to keep the victims believing they were at“gunpoint,” and Nixon and Wade proceeded to bind them with duct tape.  Thefoursome communicated through Nextel phones that operate as two-way handheldtransceivers.  The men inside informed Jackson, through the phone, thatthe Sumners were restrained. Jackson entered the house searching for bankstatements and ATM cards.  The codefendants found items such as jewelry,coins, and documents, which they also removed from the house.


Jackson continued to search the house while Nixon and Wadeforced the victims into the trunk of their Lincoln Town Car.  Nixon andWade drove the vehicle to the gas station for some fuel, and then followedJackson and Cole to the Georgia gravesite with the victims still trapped insidethe trunk.  After arriving, the Lincoln was driven close to the gravesite,while Cole remained in the Mazda at the edge of the road.  The foursome openedthe trunk, and after seeing that their bindings were not secure, Jacksonordered Nixon to tighten them. 


The Sumners were then placed in a deep hole with theirbindings still secure.  Nixon asserted that he walked away from the open graveat this time, and left Jackson and Wade to bury them.

After filling the hole with dirt, the group threw theirshovels into the trunk of the Sumner’s’ Lincoln, and left for Florida. Lastly, they attempted to remove all identify information from the Lincoln, andabandoned it in Sanderson, Florida, with the shovels still inside the trunk.


Next, after a phone call to the bank, Jackson now also knewthe personal identification number for the Sumners’ ATM cards.  The groupthen went to an ATM in Jacksonville to withdraw money from the Sumner’saccount.  Jackson split the money among the codefendants, and they retiredto a motel for the night.  Wade and Cole returned to the Sumner residenceto steal a computer that they later pawned.


The next day, Nixon separated from the group and returnedhome to Baker County, Florida.  He attended a party, and during this partyhe announced that he had buried people alive, killed them without assistance,and displayed a plastic bag filled with medications that belonged to theSumners.


On July 10, 2005, Carol Sumner, a daughter of the Sumners,called the police to inform them that her parents were missing. After arrivingthe next day, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office found the back door unlocked,food still left on counters in preparation for a meal, and Carol’s shoe andsurgical boot.  The boot was necessary for Carol to walk, and it wasunusual for it to remain at home if she left.  Later that day, an officerspotted the Lincoln Town Car in Sanderson.  Analysis of a roll of plasticwrap found in the Lincoln revealed Jackson’s fingerprints.


While the investigation continued, Jackson continued towithdraw money from the bank account.  Approximately $5,000 was removedfrom this account.  Photo surveillance showed Jackson using the ATM cardseveral times during July 9 to July 13, and some of the photos showed a Mazdaparked in the background.  Jackson began to have problems accessing theaccount, and he contacted the bank under the guise of James Sumner.  Thebank said that the daily withdrawal of the account had been exceeded. Jackson then attempted to get assistance from the Jacksonvile Sheriff’s Office(JSO) to access the account.  After coming up with an excuse, the officerasked to speak with his wife, and Tiffany Cole responded as such, andimpersonated Carol Sumner.  The JSO detective did not believe he wasspeaking to the Sumners, and he contacted a United States Marshal to assist intracking the cellular telephone used by Jackson.  After revealing Jacksonas the caller, it was found that the telephone had been used in the area of theSumner residence during the approximate time of the kidnapping.  A rentalcar global positioning system determined that the Mazda was within blocks ofthe residence on the same night of the murders.  ATM photos of the Mazdaled to Tiffany Cole’s two motel rooms rented under her name in Charleston,South Carolina.


On July 14, 2005, law enforcement found Jackson, Cole, andWade at the same motel.  After obtaining a search warrant, the officerslocated a safe in the room and discovered identification, credit cards, acheckbook, papers, and several other items belonging to the Sumners. Cole, Jackson, and Wade were arrested, and Jackson was the first to beinterrogated.  Before entering the room, Jackson discarded an ATM card ina trash can.  The card lacked identification, but had been issued bySumner’s bank.  Jackson told the officials that he had knowledge of thelocation of the bodies, but that Wade and Nixon were responsible for kidnappingand burying the victims.  Jackson also claimed that the ATM card belongedto Wade’s mother, and that Wade had convinced him to make withdrawals from theaccount.  Jackson admitted that he was at the gravesite and saw theSumner’s being placed in the hole while they were still alive.


Bruce Nixon was arrested, and he revealed the buriallocation to law enforcement.  The bodies were found four miles north ofthe Florida-Georgia border in Charlton County, Georgia, on                July 16, 2005.  A medical examiner testifiedthat their deaths were caused by mechanical obstruction of the airways bydirt.   They were buried alive and asphyxiated from the dirtparticles smothering their airway passages.  After being buried, theywould have fallen unconscious and died within three to five minutes.  Atthe gravesite, law enforcement found cigarette packs, shell casings, and emptybeer cans.  Both the Lincoln and the Mazda contained sand particles on theseats and floorboards.


At trial, Jackson testified that the plan was limited torobbing the Sumners and did not involve murder.  He maintained that Wadeand Nixon kidnapped the Sumners, and that he did not know about the kidnappinguntil Wade and Nixon showed him the gravesite.  Jackson admitted toimpersonating James Sumner during the telephone calls with the JSO.  Thejury returned guilty verdicts on all counts with a vote of eight to four.


Codefendant Information:


Tiffany Ann Cole received the death sentence theFirst-Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, and Kidnapping that took place on July 8th,2005.


Bruce Kent Nixon, Jr. received concurrent 45-year sentencesfor the Second-Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, and Kidnapping that took place onJuly 8th, 2005.


Alan Lyndell Wade received the death sentence theFirst-Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, and Kidnapping that took place on July 8th,2005.


Trial Summary:


08/18/05         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II:         Armed Robbery

                                   Count III:        Kidnapping

05/07/07         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

05/30/07         Jury recommended death by a vote of 8-4

08/29/07         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:         Armed Robbery – 15years

                                   Count III:        Kidnapping – Life



Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC#  07-2008

--- So.3d ----, 2009 WL 3029668


10/25/07         Appeal filed

10/15/09         Appeal denied


United States Supreme Court – Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 09-7442


11/03/09         Petition filed

01/19/10         Petition denied.



Case Information:


On 10/25/07, Jackson filed a Direct Appeal to the FloridaSupreme Court.  The following issues were raised:  whether the trialcourt erred in denying Jackson’s motion for judgment of acquittal; whether thetrial court erred in failing to suppress recordings of telephone calls made byJackson while he was incarcerated in South Carolina; whether the trial courterroneously gave great weight to the jury’s recommendation, without providing analternative means for the jury to be advised of available mitigationevidence.  The Florida Supreme Court found all of these claims eitherharmless or without merit and affirmed the conviction and sentence on 10/15/09.


On 11/03/09, Jackson filed a petition for a Writ ofCertiorari to the United States Supreme Court.  This petition was deniedon 01/19/10.




Report Date:  10/20/09          CAR

Approved:      10/22/09          CAR

Updated:        01/27/10          CAR