Women on Death Row in Florida

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Margaret Allen

Mugshot of Margaret Allen
Margaret Allen. Mugshot

Wenda Wright always thought of Margaret Allen as a friend, rather than her employer. But on February 5, 2005, that all changed when Allen became the employer from hell after suspecting Wright of stealing her money. She confronted Wright, who was Allen's housekeeper, about the missing money and when Wright refused to confess to something she did not do, Allen flipped out. 

Prosecutors said Allen struck Wright so hard that she fell to the ground. Frightened by the attack, Wright begged to be allowed to leave, but Wright had other plans.

Over the next several hours Allen and her nephew tortured Wright for hours, then strangled her to death with a belt. But Allen didn't get away with murder, and today she sits on death row with few options left since the Supreme Court of Florida upheld her sentence. Read the complete profile of this brutal crime here.

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Tina Lasonya Brown

Mugshot of Tina Lasonya Brown
Tina Lasonya Brown. Mugshot

Tina Lasonya Brown, age 39, was convicted of first-degree murder of 19-year-old Audreanna Zimmerman. 

In March 2010, Tina Brown, Brown’s 16-year-old daughter Britnee Miller, Heather Lee, and Audreanna Zimmerman lived in the same mobile home park in Escambia County, Florida.

At first the group were friends, but over time the relationships became combative, especially between Brown, Miller and Zimmerman.

On March 24, 2010, Brown invited Zimmerman to her home under the guise of wanting to reconcile their differences. 

A few weeks earlier, Zimmerman and Miller fought with each other when Miller discovered that Zimmerman was sexually involved with her boyfriend. The fight came to an end when Zimmerman disabled Miller with a stun gun.

On that same day Lee told Brown about the fight and about Zimmermanthe using the stun gun on her daughter. Brown went into a rage and she vowed to "get" Zimmerman.

When Zimmerman arrived at Brown's home at around 9 p.m. on March 24, Brown, Miller, Lee and a 13-year-old friend of Miller's were present.

Shortly after Zimmerman arrived Brown attacked her, stunning her with the gun multiple times and continued doing so despite Zimmerman's cries for help. Miller quieted Zimmerman by sticking a sock in her mouth and then forced her into the trunk of her car. Then Brown, Miller and Lee drove to a wooded area not far from their mobile park.

There Zimmerman was forced out of the trunk and attempted to escape from the group, but stumbled in the darkness and was caught by Brown and Miller.

Brown continued to use the stun gun on Zimmerman, while Miller beat her with a crowbar until she was laying face down in the ground. Brown then  poured gasoline over Zimmerman, while she was still conscious, and lit her on fire. Brown and Lee watched for a few minutes as the woman burned. 

Miller was also watching the scene while she jumped up and down in excitement screaming, "Burn, bitch! Burn!" The group then left Zimmerman to die and returned home.

After the three left the scene, Zimmerman, with ninety percent of her body burned, she managed to stand up and walk for help.   

She ended up at the home of of Terrance Hendrick who later testified that he helped the nude, charred woman to his front steps and waited with her until emergency medical services arrived.

As she sat with her arms in an outstretched position, Hendrick noted that not only was she burned, but she also had a severe head injury.

While being transported to the hospital, Zimmerman was conscious and able to tell EMS responders the names and addresses of her attackers. She also said she thought they wanted to be her friend again, then voiced her concern for her children's safety.

Zimmerman died 16 days later in the Burn Center at the University of South Alabama Hospital.

When Brown learned that Zimmerman was still alive she asked a friend, Pamela Valley, to finish her off. Valley refused to do it and later reported the conversation to the police.

Brown, Miller and Lee were arrested on the same day that Zimmerman died.

Brown was found guilty of first-degree murder and defined as the adult in charge and the ringleader. She received the death penalty. 

Britnee Miller was under 18 years old and could not legally be sentenced to death. She received life in prison without parol.

In a plea agreement, Heather Lee was convicted of second-degree murder and she was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

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Ana Maria Cardona

Ana Marie Cardona
Ana Marie Cardona. Mugshot

 Ana Maria Cardona was sentenced to death for the murder and aggravated child abuse of her 3-year-old son, Lazaro Figueroa.

Ana Maria Cardona inherited $100,000 from the estate of her rich, drug-dealing boyfriend who was murdered. The couple also had two children together, both boys, the youngest being Lazaro.

After a few months of receiving the money, Cardona was again penniless and left her children with family and friends. Both children subsequently ended up under the care of social services.

In the meantime, Cardona became romantically involved with Olivia Gonzalez-Mendoza and the children were eventually returned to her care.

Both Cardona and Gonzalez-Mendoza were drug addicts who shoplifted for money to support their habits. Cardona was bitter about being without money and began to take her anger out on Lazaro. She would often beat and starve the child, tie him to a bed for long periods of time, lock him in a closet or leave him in the tub filled with extremely hot or cold water.

As time went on the abuse intensified. On October 31, 1990, Cardonna beat Lazaro to death after he would not stop crying after having his head split open from Cardonna hitting him with a baseball bat.

Cardonna and Gonzalez-Mendoza then dumped the child's body in a Miami Beach neighborhood and took off to Orlando.

After Lazaro's body was found an autopsy was done and medical examiners testified that he had suffered from extreme abuse and neglect long before his mother beat him to death with the baseball bat. 

He weighed just 18 pounds and was covered in bruises and bedsores, suffered brain damage do to untreated meningitis, anemia, malnutrition and spinal cord damage.

Cardonna and Gonzalez-Mendoza were apprehended in St. Cloud, Florida.

Cardona was found guilty of aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder and given the death sentence.

Gonzalez-Mendoza was found guilty of aggravated child abuse and second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years and 40 years, respectively.
Conviction and Sentence Reversed

In July 2002, the Florida Supreme Court reversed Cardona's conviction and sentence due to a Brady violation by the State. The Supreme Court felt that the State had withheld the results of interviews with Gonzales-Mendoza which could have impeached her credibility during her testimony against Cardona. The court remanded a new trial for Cardona.

In July 2010 Cardona was tried again and found guilty on all counts. She was again sentenced to death.


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Emilia Carr

Mugshot of Emilia Carr
Mugshot of Emilia Carr. Emilia Carr

Emilia Carr, 26, was sentenced to death for her role in the murder of Heather Strong in what authorities described as a deadly love triangle.

According to prosecutors, Carr and her boyfriend Josh Fulgham plotted the murder of Fulgham's estranged wife Heather Strong. Carr was jealous of Strong and Fulgham wanted revenge after Strong sent him to jail after he pulled a shotgun on her during a fight. Fulgham also wanted custody of their two children.

On February 15, 2010, Carr and Fulgham put their plan into action, only it turned out a lot more brutal than what Carr had expected, or so told Fulgham's sister. Read the complete profile of Emilia Carr and the tragic details of this case.

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Tiffany Cole

Mugshot of Tiffany Cole
Mugshot of Tiffany Cole. Mugshot

Tiffany Cole was 23 years old when she and three male friends went to the Jacksonville, Florida home of her father's friends and former neighbors, Carol and Reggie Sumner, and kidnapped, robbed and brutally murdered the couple.

The murders of the Sumners was particularly heinous crime because:

  1. The couple, although only 61 years old, were ill and particularly frail.
  2. Cole used her father's friendship with the Sumners and their former relationship as neighbors in Charleston, South Carolina, to gain the couple's trust.
  3. Cole and her friends were after money the Sumners received from selling their home which they had planned to use for retirement.
  4. The couple was murdered to keep Cole and her friends identity from being discovered.
  5. The method of the murder was heinous - the couple was buried alive in a predug hole. Dirt particles were found in their air passages.

Cole and her new boyfriend Michael Jackson, who was also 23, conspired with Jackson's friend Alan Wade and his friend Bruce Nixon, both 18 years old, after learning that the Sumners had $99,000 in their bank account. Mrs. Sumner had shared the information with Cole who was staying with the couple for the weekend.

It was mainly due to good detective work and the stupidity of the criminals that the four were caught and prosecuted.

Nixon, who became involved with the group after the plans to murder the Sumners was in progress, ended up confessing to second-degree murder and testified against the other three killers. He also showed authorities where the couple had been buried alive.

Cole, who testified that she did not know that the couple would be killed, was given two death sentences and sentenced to life for kidnapping. She is currently on death row at Lowell Correctional Institution Annex.

Co-defendants Wade and Jackson received the same sentence of two death sentences and a life sentence.

Nixon pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified against the other three. He received 45 years in prison.

See also, "The Crimes of Florida Death Row Inmate Tiffany Cole" for complete details on how the crime unfolded and the investigation that led to their arrest.