'Not Guilty.' Helen Cummings is cleared of the Valentine's Day shooting death of her husand.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download
23 Sept 1998. Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Times, front page.
Helen Cummings prays as she hears the jury's 'not guilty' verdict. In an extremely controversial case with racial overtones, the 8 months pregnant mother of an 18 month old faced a murder charge. Mrs Cummings shot and killed her husband on Valentine's day earlier that year. My partner and I had covered the story from the get go when we first heard of the shooting. Mrs Cummings had discovered a photograph of a naked woman under the driver's seat of her husband's car earlier on the day she shot and killed him. She claimed her husband was a lying, cheating bully who regularly threatened her with a gun and had written a faux suicide note for her to find when she returned from work that day. The state claimed Mrs Cummings had shot her husband in cold blood whilst he slept, yet her defense attorney managed to convince the jury that Mr Cummings had acted in self defense, her husband having entered the bedroom threatening to kill his wife. Fearing for her life she had grabbed a revolver the couple kept in the bedroom and unloaded 6 shots from a .38 caliber revolver into her husband. 'I just kept firing until it went click, click, click. He was going to kill me,' she claimed. Mrs Cummings did not know she was pregnant a second time until she was arrested and tested in jail. Upon hearing the verdict Mrs Cummings' father said, 'There are no winners here, we are all losers.' The victim Terry Cummings' brother John cried foul of the all white jurors. 'This is white man's justice,' he declared. Helen Cummings' claimed she did not know how to shoot a gun, a claim that differs from investigations we made with local gun clubs, one of whom claimed Terry Cummings brought his wife in on several occasions to teach her how to shoot a .38 caliber revolver, a fact not revealed in court. Mrs Cummings returned to England following the verdict.
Photo; Charlie Varley.
- Front Pages005.JPG
- Charlie Varley http://www.varleypix.com/
- Image Size
- 1116x1756 / 906.2KB
- Contained in galleries
- Front Pages & Published work