Jesse James Cummings  
                      Death Row, Oklahoma
    #244982        H-SW-3-II         P.O. Box 97        Mcalester, Oklahoma        74502-0097  USA
   Special thanks to Richard Northrop and Brenda Kelly in New Brunswick, Canada for helping transcribe the text

Hello Friends:

My name is Jesse James Cummings #244982.  I am currently in custody at the
H-unit, Oklahoma State Penitentiary, P.O. Box 97, Mcalester, OK. 74502-0097

On September 5th, 1991, while I was over a hundred miles away in Oklahoma
City with my Father who was dying of cancer, Jaunita Marie Lewis Cummings
and Sherry Marie Mitchell Cummings, shot and killed Judy Ann Moody Mayo, my older sister and killed her 11 year old daughter Melissa Marie Moody.

At this time I was living with two women - Sherry and Jaunita Cummings who
were both married to me.  I married Sherry Marie Mitchell first on October 8, 1987 and then at Sherry's request I married Juanita Marie Lewis on June 14, 1989 without divorcing Sherry.  We lived in the community of Phillips, Oklahoma.  The household consisted of me, Sherry, Jaunita, mine and Sherry's daughter, Juanita's son and my Father Jesse Samuel Cummings.

Felony informations were filed on August 1, 1994 in Coal County District
Court.  Jaunita was charged with the first degree (malice) murder of Judy.
Sherry was charged with the first degree (malice) murder of Melissa.  I was
charged with two counts of first degree (malice) murder for:  The murder
of Judy, acting in concert with Jaunita, and the murder of Melissa, acting
in concert with Sherry.

It was testified to by the actual murderer, that Judy was murdered in my
home.  Judy's body was recovered on September 10, 1991 in Atoka County in
a small pond next to Atoka Lake.  Judy had been shot several times.

There was no evidence - physical, trace and/or biological, to support that
Judy was murdered in my home.

Melissa's skeletal remains were recovered on October 16, 1991 near a
bridge spanning the clear boggy creek in Choctaw County.  The medical
examiner releasted Mellisa's body and she was buried on Nov. 22, 1991.

Initially the medical examiner was unable to determine a cause of death
for Melissa.  However, some three years later, her remains were exhumed
for a second autopsy at which time evidence of sharp force trauma on
several ribs were recovered.

The case remained opened and unsolved from September 1991, til July 1994,
at which time Jaunita Cummings, one of my wives, turned herself into the
Coal County Sheriff's Department and confessed to the murder of Judy.

In Jaunita's initial statement to Law Enforcement, she implicated both
Sherry Cummings, my other wife and me in the murders but stated that she
did not know who killed Melissa and that she did not know how Melissa had
been killed.

In subsequent interviews by and in statements given to law enforcement,
Jaunita's version of her initial statement greatly vary.  Sherry's initial version of events differed from Jaunita's and changed in subsequent interviews by and statements given to law enforcement.

The women had admitted to killing Judy while I was out of town and falsely claimed they kept Melissa alive until my return many hours later.  But the facts make it clear, however, that Jaunita and Sherry also killed Melissa and disposed of the bodies before I returned.  There was no evidence connecting me to the Homicides, other then the self-serving testimony of Jaunita and Sherry Cummings and there was no evidence to corroborate the women's claims against me.  The evidence at trial showed that I had no motive to want either Judy or Melissa dead, and that I was on good terms with them both.

Important evidence which would have impeached the women and their claims
was not presented at trial.  Moreover, Jurors were unaware that Sherry
and Jaunita had incentives to frame me.  Subsequently, both Jaunita and
Sherry entered into plea agreements with the State in exchange for the
testimony as State witnesses. In return for Jaunita's testimony, the
prosecution agreed to drop the first degree muder charge against her and
allow her to plead to second degree murder with a recommended sentence of
life imprisonment.  Jaunita's parole date is in March  2003.  She is serving time in NewPort, Arkansas, about thirty miles from her family's home.

The State agreed to drop the first degree murder charge against Sherry
in return for her testimony.  Sherry was to be allowed to plead to two
accounts of accesory after the fact and one count of permitting a child
to be abused, with a sentence totaling 35 years imprisonment.  Sherry's
parole date is September 2000.  She is serving time in Odessa, Texas.

Although the exact sequence of events on the afternoon of Sept. 5, 1991,
is not easily discernable from Sherry and Jaunita's testimonys and the
available evidence, three key points are clear from a thorough review of
the known evidence.
FIRST:  It is undisputed that I was with my Father, who was admitted to
 Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma City for cancer tests.
SECOND: It is clear from Jaunita's and Sherry's testimonys that it is
impossible for both Jaunita and Sherry to have testified truthfully at my trial.  Their respective inconsistent statements,  both prior to trial and at the trial are diametrically opposed on key events.
THIRD:  Jaunita's testimony is contrary to other known physical evidence.
 This evidence includes information contained in the medical examiners autopsy reports and the investigation by law enforcement agenciesin the month following the homicides.

Because of the inconsistent and conflicting versions of the women, it's
unsure of what happened or where the murders happened.  The only thing
I know for sure is my sister and my niece are dead and I have been wrongfully convicted of their murders.

On August 4, 1998, the Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals reversed with
the instruction to dismiss the murder conviction of my sister Judy, but
let Melissa's murder conviction stand against me, saying:  Sherry and
Jaunita were accomplices on Judy's murder and could not corroborate each
other.  But as to Melissa's murder, Sherry could not corroborate Jaunita
but Jaunita could corroborate Sherry because Jaunita was dropped as an
accomplice and deemed a witness for purposes of corroboration, not
because she had witnessed any offense being committed but solely for
purposes of corroboration.

In Oklahoma, the law is such that if a witness can corroborate a single
item of circumstantial evidence is corroborated and admissable.  The
prosecution knowingly used false, misleading and inaccurate evidence,
testimony and created false impressions as to the evidence at my trial to
get a cconviction.

Jaunita's and Sherry's fertile imaginations continued to supply the
authorities with many tales of my alleged wrong-doing.  I was convicted
of two counts of murder in the first degree with a sentence of death
imposed on each count.  My sister's murder conviction was dismissed in
appeal court.

I need help proving my innocence of my niece's murder.  There are no
other criminal matters pending in other courts against me, nor is there
any sentence, capital or non-capital, to be served by me in any other

The prosecution has nothing to fear or lose by convicting an innocent
person.  The prosecution has immunity against being prosecuted for
wrongful convictions, and once a person is convicted, no one listens to
them and it takes years of appeals to prove innocence, and that's only
if your lucky and get some outside help.  The court appointed lawyers are
usually overloaded with cases and don't have neither the money or the
time they need to investigate a case to get the evidence needed to prove
innocence in your case.
There is a lot more to my case.  If anyone is interested in helping me,
I would be very grateful for any help, legal or investigator or other.
              Jesse James Cummings #244982
                               P.O. Box 97
                        McAlester, Oklahoma
                           74502-0097   USA

                                     Links to Jesse James Cummings other webpages:
                  Friends beyond the wall - Prisoner Webpage
   Special thanks to Richard Northrop and Brenda Kelly in New Brunswick, Canada for helping transcribe the text

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This page was last updated November 13, 2001        Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty          This page is maintained and updated by  Tracy Lamourie and Dave Parkinson
Special thanks to Richard Northrop and Brenda Kelly in New Brunswick  for helping transcribe the text