|Contact Jessie James Cummings|
|DOB: November 19, 1955
DOD: September 25, 2008
|Jessie James Cummings' case data|
|State and County||Oklahoma, Coal County|
|Case No.||CF 94-32|
|Crime||two (2) counts of 1st Degree Murder (victims: Cummings' sister and niece; his sister's murder conviction against him was dismissed in appeal court)|
|Date of Crime||September 5, 1991|
|Date of Arrest||July 28, 1994|
|Date of Conviction||May 9, 1996|
|Age at the Date of Crime||35|
|Contributing Factors||Perjury, Official Misconduct, Ineffectiveness of Counsel|
|Did DNA evidence contribute to the conviction?||No|
|Is there DNA evidence to test?||Yes|
[The following text was written by Jessie Cummings.]
On September 5th, 1991, while Jessie Cummings was over a hundred miles away in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with his father, who was receiving treatment for terminal cancer, Juanita and Sherry Cummings [Jessie Cummings’ ex-wives] shot and killed Judy Ann Moody Mayo and killed Judy’s 11 year old daughter Melissa Marie Moody [Jessie Cummings’ sister and niece].
Judy Moody Mayo and Melissa Moody were last seen at 1:15 pm the afternoon of September 5th, 1991 at Vira Birthaleen Potter’s home in Coalgate, Oklahoma. Both Judy and Melissa disappeared while Jessie Cummings was in Oklahoma City. This case was open and unsolved from September 1991 until July 1994.
On July 27th, 1994, the day before Jessie Cummings was arrested, Juanita Cummings confessed for the first time to Jessie Cummings that she had shot and killed Judy Moody Mayo and took Melissa Moody and did away with her in 1991. Sherry Cummings had helped move Judy’s body.
Jessie Cummings tried to get both Juanita and Sherry Cummings to got with him to talk to the Sheriff about Juanita Cummings’ confession. They refused. However, Juanita Cummings knew that Jessie Cummings planned to talk to the Sheriff. Juanita turned herself into the authorities. She admitted killing Judy Moody Mayo, but she claimed that Jessie Cummings had ordered her to do it. Juanita and Sherry Cummings admitted to killing Judy Moody Mayo while Jessie Cummings was in Oklahoma City. But falsely claimed they kept Melissa Moody alive until his return many hours later.
However, the facts and a thorough investigation will make it clear that Juanita and Sherry Cummings also killed Melissa Moody and disposed of the bodies before Jessie Cummings returned from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
On July 28th, Juanita Cummings went to work and decided to talk to her employer Edward Fields and his wife Diane. Juanita told them that when she returned from work on September 6th, 1991, that Judy Moody Mayo’s body was gone and so was Melissa Moody. Juanita Cummings was home long before Jessie Cummings returned from Oklahoma City in the early morning hours of September 6th, 1991.
On September 5th, 1991, Jerry Wayne Walker was at the Cummings’ home around 5:00 pm for two to three hours. In an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) interview Jerry Walker reported that the only people he saw at the Cummings’ home was Sherry Cummings and her daughter and Juanita’s son, and that neither Judy Moody Mayo, nor Melissa Moody, or Judy’s pickup was at the Cummings’ home.
On September 5th, 1991 Ella Faye Potter in an (OSBI) interview reported that she came to the Cummings’ home looking for Judy Moody Mayo about 8:00 pm on September 5th, 1991 and noone was home, nor was Judy’s pickup at the Cummings’ home.
On September 5th, 1991 Loretta Lynn McCullar in an (OSBI) interview reported that she came to the Cummings’ home about 10:00 pm on September 5th, 1991 and noone was home, and Judy Moody Mayo’s pickup was not at the Cummings’ home.
On September 5th, 1991 Patsy Cathey in an (OSBI) interview reported that Sherry Cummings and the two children came to the Dairy Queen Drive, in where Patsy Cathey and Juanita Cummings were working. Sherry ordered food and drink for her and the two children, after talking to Juanita. Sherry left and Judy nor Melissa were with Sherry Cummings. Sherry left around 8:00 or 8:30 pm.
In Juanita and Sherry Cummings’ testimony, after Juanita shot and killed Judy Moody Mayo, they were supposed to have moved Judy’s body to the cellar. Judy’s pickup was supposed to have set at the Cummings’ home until Jessie Cummings returned from Oklahoma City. Melissa Moody was supposed to be handcuffed to a bed in the Cummings’ home until Jessie Cummings return. Sherry Cummings was supposed to have been home all afternoon and night guarging Melissa Moody.
The prosecution’s theory of the case as presented through the state solicited testimony of Juanita and Sherry Cummings was that Jessie Cummings was responsible for both murders. There are many inconsistencies between the women’s versions of events, and there is no evidence to corroborate their claims against Jessie Cummings.
Jessie Cummings was convicted based solely on the uncorroborated testimony of his two former wives – the actual killers – Juanita and Sherry Cummings, who had to satisfy the prosecution with their testimony and a conviction against Jessie Cummings before they could receive their plea bargains for lesser charges that originally included the threat of a death sentence for both women.
Jessie Cummings has consistently maintained his innocence of these offenses and asked for DNA testing and a thorough investigation of any and all evidence there might be in this case.
I was not informed I could have any say in who sat on the jury.
Juror 1: Christy Michelle “C” B.
She is good friend of Eugene Mayo, husband of “victim” Judy Moody Mayo. She walked to school with Ella Faye Potter’s children. Melissa Moody “victim” also walked to school with Ella Faye’s children in Tupelo, Oklahoma, and Melissa Moody was best friends with Ella Faye’s daughter Linda. Judy Moody Mayo and Ella Faye Potter were best friends.
Juror 2: Lisa A.
She works as a secretary and bookkeeper for RSVP at Coalgate, Oklahoma. Her husband was given four years in prison for unlawful delivery of marijuana and did eight months of his sentence.
Juror 3: David P.
He works as a parts manager at Brecheens Equipment in Atoka, Oklahoma. He is friends with Atoka County under Sheriff Junior Head. “Junior Head was one of the case investigators.” I do not get along with under Sheriff Junior Head. He tried to set me up for car theft in 1983, but lost in court, when it was proven that I was in the hospital at the time the car was stolen. I also got into a fight with Junior Head’s brother, who dated my younger sister, Debbie.
Alternate Juror 1: Tonya P.
Wife of Juror 3. She is the cook at the Atoka Truck Stop where law enforcement eat, have coffee, talk about cases, etc.
Juror 4: Nora H.
She was the cook at the Atoka Truck Stop where law enforcement eat, have coffee, talk about cases, etc.
Juror 5: Sandra S.
She graduated with a degree in criminal justice at East Central University. At time of jury trial she worked at K-marts in Ada, Oklahoma. In the past she worked for the probation and parole office in Ada, Oklahoma. On post-conviction investigation the lawyer found out that at the time of the trial Ms. S. lived in Ada, Oklahoma, “Pontotoc County” not “Coal County” as required by law to be on the Coal County jury. “She said she wanted to get back into law enforcement work after my trial was over.”
Juror 6: Cynthia M.
Ms M. had been widowed for eleven months at time of trial and did not work.
Juror 7: Carl S.
retired. He said, he would pick the death penalty over all on first degree murder.
Juror 8: Pamila H.
Her husband Mike and her father-in-law Marvin H. own the Lehigh Oklahoma Salvage Yard. They were good friends with local law enforcement that hung out at their salvage yard often. I have had disagreements with her husband and father-in-law several times in the past. Pamila H.’s son was arrested while I was in jail in Coal County. Her son had all charges dropped against him for narcotic possession with intent to distribute the drugs, even though her son had the drugs on him and it was his car, the two young men with him were charged. At my trial the judge asked Pamila H., if she was satisfied enough with the outcome of her son’s case to sit on the jury.
Juror 9: Deloris C.
registered nurse at the Coal County Health Department who regularly treated the Cummings family. Her middle son is the assistant city manager of the city of Coalgate, Oklahoma. Her oldest son is a police detective for the city of Ada, Oklahoma.
Juror 10: Larena D.
The Coalgate court clerk Betty McCurry is her aunt. I had problems with Joseph D., because he came to my house and kicked my dog to death.
Juror 11: Garry T.
works at the Ada Oklahoma post office. He said, he would automatically vote for the death penalty.
Juror 12: Paul H.
He is the neighbor and good friend of Coal County Sheriff Bill Ward. His daughter works in the Coalgate D.H.S. office. He has another daughter who works at the Coalgate City Hall. He said, he had heard the case talked about a lot and did not think, he be a fair juror.
How you can help
Jessie J. Cummings stated for years:
In my opinion, DNA testing should be done on any and all evidence there might be in this case.
I need to hire an investigator who will investigate the case thoroughly to find the evidence needed to prove my innocence and this false conviction. Witnesses who have not come forward so far, are asked to do that now before it is too late.
My attorney and myself need support from a healthy, dedicated and not overworked attorney. My attorney believes in my innocence. He does his best, although he is terribly overworked and has recently had some serious heart problems.
Any support is appreciated. If you want to donate to my defense, please write to me. See contact info above!
It was too late for Jessie Cummings, but in 2013, Oklahoma became the 50th State that passed a DNA Testing Access Law. Visit the IIPPI Forum for old and future news!
Verified Original Application for Post-Conviction Relief, Request for Evidentiary Hearing, and Request for Discovery
Procedural History of the Case (pdf)
Part A: I. Capital Offense Information
II. Non-Capital Offense Information
III. Case Information
and Part B: Grounds for Relief
Table of Contents
Appendix (Table of Contents)
Abbreviations and References to the Record
Part C: Facts (pdf)
Averment of Preliminary Facts in Support of Application
B. Jessie Cummings is Factually Innocent of These Offenses
C. The Wives were not Battered Women and They did not Act Out of Duress
W.A. Drew Edmondson, Attorney General of Oklahoma (pdf, 3 pages)
letter and memorandum (March 1, 2002)
In response to Edmondson’s statement, “While Mr. Cummmings claims innocence, you must keep in mind that he initially denied all knowledge of these crimes and only years later, admitted disposing of the body of his sister”:
There is evidence showing that Mr. Cummings’ July 30, 1994 confession to assisting in moving Judy’s body was a false confession made due to inducements by a law enforcement officer. He recanted very soon. There now is evidence available to substantiate Mr. Cummings’ reasons for falsely confessing in order to protect his children from living with child molesters. (See Averment of Facts, Parts M. The July 1994 Arrest (pdf, especially page 9 (66)) & F. Sherry Cummings: The Dominant Person in the Cummings Household (pdf))
www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?citeID=60615The Oklahoma State Courts Network
The Oklahoma State Courts Network
Summary Opinion (Oklahoma State Courts Network)