Who are the three women currently sitting on Florida's death row?

JoAnn Ryan

In Florida, stipulations for applying the death penalty in criminal cases include those crimes considered particularly cruel, horrific, premeditated and/or unsympathetically carried out.

Currently, there are three women sitting on Florida's death row for crimes perpetrated in just such a manner.

Tina Lasonya Brown

BROWN, TINA, Florida mugshotPhoto byFlorida Dept of Corrections

On March 24, 2010, Tina Brown, along with a neighbor, Heather Lee, and Brown's 16-year-old daughter Britnee Miller, lured another neighbor, Audreanna Zimmerman, to her home. All lived in a mobile home park in Escambia County, Florida.

Zimmerman was only 19 years old while Brown was 43.

Once there, Brown repeatedly used a taser to disable Zimmerman. While screaming and crying for help, Zimmerman was beaten while Lee stuffed a sock into her mouth. The three proceeded to force the 19-year-old into the trunk of Brown's car.

Zimmerman was driven to a wooded area nearby, where the three continued to beat her with a crowbar and use the taser on her. At one point, Brown poured gasoline over the girl and set her on fire.

Brown, according to Lee, "exuberantly jumped up and down and screamed, “Burn, bitch! Burn!”."

Perhaps the most horrific part in an already horrific crime, Zimmerman was left to suffer with her injuries while the three drove away. The only concern Miller had upon leaving is that she'd left her shoes and the taser behind.

Zimmerman would live with a busted jaw and burns over 90% of her body for another 16 days before passing away.

Later, as part of a plea bargain, Lee would testify against Brown and received a sentence of 25 years in prison. Brown's daughter, Britnee Miller, pled guilty, and because she was a minor at the time, was spared the death penalty and handed down a life sentence.

Brown was sentenced to death and this sentence has been upheld in subsequent appeals.

Tiffany Ann Cole

COLE, TIFFANY, Florida mugshotPhoto byFlorida Dept of Corrections

Is there anything more horrific and cruel than burying someone alive? Yes, burying two people alive.

By all accounts, James and Carol Sumner had done well in life. Far from being stingy with their wealth though, they strove to help others who were not so fortunate.

Such was the case with Tiffany Cole. All had previously been neighbors in South Carolina. After the couple relocated to Florida, in 2005 Cole arranged to purchase a car from the Sumners and the couple warmly opened their home for her to stay with them. They also agreed to letting Cole make monthly payments on the car, since she couldn't afford to buy it outright.

The loving couplePhoto byfindagrave.com

It was only a short time after later that Cole reportedly held a flashlight while her boyfriend Michael James Jackson, along with co-conspirators Alan Wade and Bruce Kent Nixon, Jr., dug graves for the couple, who they soon planned to abduct and murder.

The motivation was robbery. But why bury them alive?

In her defense, Cole maintained that she was under the control of her boyfriend, Michael Jackson. This proved suspect though, considering they both were seen celebrating afterward in a rented limousine while drinking champagne. All paid for with money robbed from the Sumners.

While Cole had been facing two separate death sentences for each victim, this sentence is currently in limbo. In 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that death penalty cases must have a unanimous recommendation from juries.

A decision that recently became a factor in the sentencing of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, who was also spared the death penalty in a 9-3 split.

Since Cole's sentence was also delivered with a 9-3 split, when she faces resentencing in 2023, her sentence could very well be commuted to life in prison.

Margaret Ann Allen

ALLEN, MARGARET, Florida mugshotPhoto byFlorida Dept of Corrections

No one likes to have anything stolen from them. Still, the right thing to do is to call the authorities and let them deal with it.

The wrong thing to do is what Margaret Allen opted for when her purse with $2,000 was stolen in 2005. Deciding it was her housekeeper, Wenda Wright, who had stolen her purse, she proceeded to beat the woman.

Enlisting the help of her nephew, Quinton Allen, to help subdue and bind Wright, his aunt proceeded to pour bleach, ammonia and nail polish remover over the woman's face and down her throat.

Her nephew stated in court that Wright "was gagging on the chemicals, crying and begging for her life."

Afterward, Allen, along with her nephew and her roommate, James Martin, transported Wright to a remote area and buried her in a shallow grave.

Allen was sentenced to death on May 19th, 2011.


Most women sentenced to death in Florida have succeeded in having their sentences reduced to life in prison, as in the case of Emilia Carr, Ana Maria Cardona and many others.

In the state's history, only two women have ever been executed, Judias Goodyear Buenoano and Aileen Wuornos.

What do you think about Florida's women on death row?

Read more about Florida's death penalty on WPTV, West Palm Beach.

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