Jury recommends life sentence for woman in ‘Buried Alive’ case

Closing arguments were presented Wednesday morning

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A convicted killer from Jacksonville — who was on death row for almost two decades — avoided execution Wednesday and has now been re-sentenced to life in prison.

A jury began deliberating around 2 p.m. Wednesday on the high-profile death penalty case. Only two jurors voted to re-impose the death penalty.

Tiffany Cole was sentenced to death in connection with the 2005 crime. Before the sentence, Cole was one of only three women on Florida’s death row.

Related: Resentencing trial continues for one of the men convicted of burying local couple alive

Cole and three others kidnapped and robbed Reggie and Carol Sumner — who both had health issues — then drove them to a remote part of Charlton County, Georgia and buried the couple alive.

She is one of only three women on Florida’s death row.

Cole’s sentence was thrown out because the original jury recommendation wasn’t unanimous.

It should be noted that current Florida law requires only an 8 to 4 jury recommendation for Cole to be re-sentenced to death.

About the Authors:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.

Carianne Luter is an Award-Winning Digital Media and Engagement Manager for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She won "Best Social Media Engagement Strategy" during the Local Media Association 2022 Digital Innovation Awards. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.