Duval County

Jury recommends life sentence for Alan Wade, man convicted in 2005 killing of Jacksonville couple

A resentencing hearing wrapped up Thursday for Alan Wade, who was once given the death penalty for murdering a Jacksonville couple in 2005.

Carol and Reggie Sumner were both 61 years old when they were bound by duct tape, driven to Georgia and buried alive.


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Wade, one of four co-defendants, insisted to the jury Wednesday that he deeply regrets what he’d done.

“Every day I’m tormented by my cruel and careless actions against you… I should’ve helped instead of hurt you; I’m sorry for my senseless, unprovoked, undeserved actions against you, this is the most passionate regret and biggest mistake of my life,” he said the day before.

On Thursday in court, attorneys made their final arguments to the jury. The prosecutor said, “that torture… is a reason for a verdict of death… It shows what he’s capable of… You are to decide what is just for him.”

Wade’s defense painted a different picture:

“Alan Wade is not a monster. He’s a human being. He cries, he cares, he deeply regrets what happened, and if he could take it back, he would,” adding, “But I can promise you this, that you will never regret not killing Alan Wade.”

RELATED: ‘That person no longer exists:’ Alan Wade offers emotional apology at resentencing trial

The prosecutor held up a shovel and showed it to the jury, saying, “the shovels still have the dirt. Time does not heal all wounds… In July of 2005, [the Sumners] weren’t put in a grave. They were put in a death chamber. A hole, a pit.”

Wade’s defense maintained he’s a changed man, whose life traumas affected him developmentally.

“If you execute Alan Wade, you’re executing the little boy whose dad didn’t show up, you’re executing the boy whose mother had cancer and blamed it on him, you’re executing the kid who was thrown out on the streets and had nowhere to go,” his defense said.

After deliberating for over three hours, the jury decided Wade deserves life in prison.

Action News Jax asked Wade’s family if they’d like to talk; they declined to comment.

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