BRADENTON -- John Karl Tuxford and Jordan Finlon died after they were kidnapped at gunpoint; he was shot five times and she was stabbed more than 30 times -- revenge for stealing money from one of the suspects, according to detectives with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office Homicide Investigative Unit.
At 12:52 p.m. Tuesday, Tuxford, 38, was found shot to death in his vehicle in the 1100 block of Eighth Avenue East, after Bradenton police responded to several reports of gunfire. At 1:29 p.m., the sheriff received a 911 call after drivers found Finlon, 23, dead on the side of Bishop Harbor Road in northern Manatee County. The two were a couple, relatives told detectives.
Both lead detectives were told by the Medical Examiner's Office that Tuxford had been shot five times and Finlon had been stabbed more than 30 times.
Two suspects, Dwayne E. Cummings, 38, and Fredrick Douglas, 43, were arrested Thursday.
Cummings is charged with two counts of armed kidnapping, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and violation of probation for a case that includes nine armed kidnapping convictions.
Douglas was arrested on a felony warrant for an unrelated charge of domestic battery charge.
Murder charges are still pending against Cummings, but the sheriff's office says it is unsure whether Douglas will be charged.
A third possible suspect is being sought.
Douglas was released from the Manatee County jail Friday on a $5,000 bond for the domestic battery charge. He was rearrested after his bonds were revoked on other pending charges of possession of marijuana and driving with a suspended license. He is now being held on bonds totaling $720.
Cummings had a first appearance hearing Friday before Circuit Judge Gilbert A. Smith Jr., who ordered him held without bond.
Cummings spoke briefly, replying, "No sir," when asked if he could afford a private attorney. The Public Defender's Office was appointed to represent him.
Assistant State Attorney Garrett Franzen urged the judge to hold Cummings without bond because he is a felony offender of special concern, there is a preponderance of evidence and his new charges are punishable by life in prison.
On Monday, Cummings reported to the Bradenton police his home had been burglarized and a safe and cash were taken.
A confidential informant reached out to lead detective Jim Curulla late Wednesday, and said Finlon met with her Tuesday and told her she and Tuxford had committed a robbery and stole $800. Finlon then bought narcotics with the stolen money and used some of the narcotics, the source said.
Douglas told the same informant Finlon and Tuxford had robbed his cousin, Cummings, and he put out a "reward" for them. She said Douglas told her they were going to "beat her up" and "kill the dude."
Tuxford and Finlon pulled up to Douglas's home Tuesday in the 3300 block of 12th Street Court East, according to surveillance video obtained by lead detective Jeff Bliss and witness accounts. A black SUV with gold rims pulled up behind it, several men got out, confronted Tuxford in the front seat and Cummings got into the back seat.
Witnesses said Cummings, armed with a gun, warned Tuxford not to drive to the police. Tuxford looked scared and as he pulled his Jeep out of the driveway at 12:37 p.m. Tuesday, he ran over a chain link fence, they said. Douglas then got back in the SUV and followed Tuxford's Jeep.
The informant reportedly said Douglas later called another witness and they could hear Finlon screaming for them to stop hitting her.
The witness "told her that Freddy was crying when she asked what happened to Jordan, and that Freddy said that they might have gone too far and that she might be dead," Curulla wrote in the report.
On the scene after Tuxford's body was found, Curulla spoke with a resident he knew who witnessed some of the shooting. The resident reportedly said he had heard four or five gunshots when he was backing out of the driveway.
Then the resident said he saw a green Jeep heading north on Eighth Street East, swerving and hitting trees, a fence and a fire hydrant. The Jeep came to a stop in the 1000 block and a black SUV pulled up to the passenger side, someone shot four or five more times at the Jeep and then drove off north.
Crime-scene technicians found nine bullet casings from where the car was found and along Eighth Street East.
Additional witnesses were interviewed by other detectives with the homicide unit, confirming the account of events.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.