The leader of a robbery-murder ring that buried alive a retired Jacksonville couple was sentenced to death Wednesday.
Michael James Jackson, 25 had refused to allow character testimony on his behalf when Circuit Judge Michael Weatherby was weighing the sentence this summer.
During a midday hearing Wednesday, the judge said the eight aggravating factors outlined by prosecutors -- details of the crime that affect the sentence -- far outweighed mitigating factors.
Prosecutors described Jackson as the mastermind of the 2005 kidnapping and murder of James and Carol Sumner, whose bodies were left in a remote area in Charlton County, Ga.
The grave where they were dumped was dug days before the couple was abducted from their St. Nicholas home, loaded into their car's trunk and forced to reveal their bank card PIN number.
Jackson drained the couple's bank accounts and still had their financial records when he was arrested at a South Carolina hotel.
Jackson's defense lawyer, Richard Kuritz, said he's filing an appeal notice today.
For those unfamiliar, Jacksonville has a very high crime rate, especially for murder, which is one of the highest in the nation (I think Detroit and D.C. are the only places that have us beat, but I could be wrong). The head of a robbery-and-murder ring being put away and eventually killed is very good news.