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Cummins sentenced to life in prison for St. Paddy Day slayings

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

​Jordan Cummins, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday, following his conviction last week on two counts of first degree murder for the shooting deaths of Joshua Spann, 27, and Auden Jubilee Simpkins, 23. The incident took place at the annual Hal & Mal’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Jackson on March 25, 2023, when a group of friends intervened in a dispute between Cummins and his girlfriend, Jenny Lukens.

Hinds County Circuit Judge Faye Peterson sentenced Cummins to two terms of life in prison to run concurrently, instead of consecutively.

​Kelly Simpkins, the father of Jubilee Simpkins, was allowed to address the Court and the defendant during the sentencing hearing. Simpkins, struggling to speak initially, looked over at Cummins and said “Jubilee was my baby girl. She spent most of her youth on my shoulders. You cannot imagine the pain and agony that you have caused us with her loss.”

​Simpkins went on to say that “we will always wonder what she was thinking in her last moments. Did she know how much we loved her?” Simpkins spoke about how the Bible had taught him that “we can have justice without hate and that we can have punishment without revenge.” Simpkins went on to say that for there to be forgiveness, there has to be justice. He deferred to Judge Peterson, in her wisdom and experience, to decide the appropriate punishment for Cummins. 

Hinds County Assistant District Attorney Gwen Agho, District Attorney Jody Owens, and the family of Jubilee Simpkins following last week’s jury verdict convicting Cummins.

​Cummins’ mother, Angie Kellum, spoke next on the behalf of her son. She began by saying “several other people should have been charged in this case but were not” and that “this generation feels they need to resort to violence to settle their dispute. Guns and alcohol do not mix.” She pleaded with the Court to have leniency on her son. 

​Cummins had his chance to address the Court and the victims families. He said he “deeply regretted the deaths of Josh and Jubilee.” He claimed that it wasn’t his intention to kill them. Cummins’ attorney, Bill Kellum, asked the Court to run the life sentences concurrently, arguing that Cummins had not planned the attack and had no prior felony record. 

​Judge Peterson gave the last comments during the hearing and said that “this Court does not hold it against a defendant for exercising their right to trial” in determining sentencing. The Judge went on to say that “there are no winners here.” Judge Peterson then sentenced Cummins to two life in prison terms, to run concurrently.

​While a defendant, convicted of first degree murder, cannot receive parole in Mississippi, they can petition the sitting circuit judge in the county of conviction, to review their sentence for conditional release, once they have reached the age of sixty-five (65) and have served at least fifteen (15) years of their sentence.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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