MANATEE -- A suspect in the killings of a man and a woman last week in Manatee County was ordered held without bond on two murder charges Tuesday, as Manatee County Sheriff's Office investigators searched for evidence in the waters of the Manatee River.
Dwayne Cummings, 38, was charged with murder Monday in connection with the deaths of Tuxford and Jordan Finlon last week.
A second suspect, Frederick Douglas, 43, was also arrested on an outstanding felony warrant for domestic battery. The sheriff's office is unsure whether Douglas will be charged in the homicides.
Cummings was ordered held without bond during a first appearance hearing at the Manatee County Courthouse.
"Your honor, the state would ask that he be held without bond," Assistant State Attorney Brian Chambers told Judge Charles Sniffen. "Your honor, in this case he's charged with two counts of second-degree
murder, both of them were done with a weapon."
Mark Adams, who works for Public Defender's Office and is not representing Cummings, told the judge Cummings may be hiring a private attorney. No further information was available Tuesday on who that could be.
"Mr. Cummings, I'm going to find, based on the information contained in the probable cause affidavit, that the proof of guilt is eminent. Presumption is great," Sniffen told Cummings. "What that means is, for the time being, you're going to be held without bond on this."
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office spent Tuesday looking for evidence in the Manatee River in the fatal Jan. 19 shooting of Tuxford.
Deputies said Tuxford, 38, was found shot to death in his vehicle in the 1100 block of Eighth Avenue East, Bradenton, after police responded to several reports of gunfire. Finlon, 23, was found dead the same afternoon on the side of Bishop Harbor Road in northern Manatee County.
Investigators believe the victims were kidnapped at gunpoint and killed as revenge for stealing money from a suspect. Tuxford was shot five times and Finlon was stabbed more than 30 times.
Two boats and 14 employees will search the Manatee River for the next couple of days, the dive commander said. The team started at 8 a.m. Tuesday and blocked off a section of the Riverwalk near the Green Bridge in Bradenton as the team works.
Kate Irby, Herald online/political reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7055. You can follow her on Twitter @KateIrby.
Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.