2 suspects in double murder in Manatee arrested
MANATEE -- Two men were arrested a few hours apart Thursday and are facing charges in connection with the murder of two people Tuesday, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
The deaths of John Karl Tuxford, 38, and Jordan Finlon, 23, appear related to drugs, the sheriff's office said in the news release.
Dwayne E. Cummings, 38, was first to be arrested and charged with two counts of armed kidnapping. Murder charges are pending, the sheriff's office said.
Later Thursday evening, the second suspect Fredrick Douglas, 43, was arrested. Douglas was already wanted on a felony warrant for an unrelated charge of domestic battery, according to the second release. Murder charges have not been filed against him yet.
Tuxford was found shot to death in his vehicle in the 1100 block of Eighth Avenue East, Bradenton. Shortly afterward, Finlon was found dead on the side of Bishop Harbor Road in northern Manatee County.
"This was a situation between the two victims and the two suspects, possibly a third suspect," Bristow said. "This was not random."
Cummings is already on felony probation for 1997 convictions for armed robbery with a firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and nine counts of armed kidnapping. He was released from a Florida prison in April 2013 after serving almost 16 years of an 18-year-plus sentence.
While serving his prison sentences, Cummings also served a more than two-year sentence for 1997 convictions of grand theft of a motor vehicle and burglary of an occupied structure.
Cummings could have been sentenced to life in prison for his kidnapping convictions. He was sentenced to serve 10 years probation, scheduled to be completed in April 2023.
Douglas served less than eight months of a year-plus sentence for 2003 convictions of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and possession of cocaine.
The murder victims had drug use histories, according to the sheriff's office.
Finlon was a known drug user with no criminal history.
At the time of his death, Tuxford was on probation for convictions of petty theft, trafficking in stolen property and giving false identification to a secondary metals recycler, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. Tuxford had been placed in a Manatee County drug court intervention program. Tuxford was issued a jail sanction May 7 and ordered into jail immediately.
He was brought to court May 14 and ordered to complete a program at the Suncoast Area Adult Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg. Once he completed the program and was released, he was ordered back to drug court and the probation office.
Tuxford's next scheduled court date had been set for Thursday.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.