Kimberly Kessler Murders Jolene Cummings

Kimberly Kessler is a killer from Florida who was convicted of the murder of Jolene Cummings

According to court documents Kimberly Kessler and Jolene Cummings were coworkers at Tangles Hair Salon in Fernandina Beach and when Jolene suddenly went missing police would focus on a woman named Jennifer Sybert who turned out tot be Kimberly Kessler

Seems that Kimberly Kessler had more than a dozen different identities and had been researching the search term murder with no body. Kessler was convinced as long as authorities could not find the body she could not be convicted of murder

Turns out Kimberly Kessler and Jolene Cummings had a bad argument at work and that was the last time Jolene was seen alive. Kessler odd behavior would continue when she would tell police that she had quit her job at Tangles and that they could not use her real name for her ex boyfriend was a stalker and computer expert who would be able to track her down

Authorities would process the scene at Tangles and soon learned that there was a ton of blood evidence that someone had attempted to clean up. Kimberly Kessler who was living in her car had a ton of scratches on her face and arms. Kessler was also seen on close circuit cameras throwing away heavy garbage bags into a Walmart trash bin

Kimberly Kessler would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to life in prison

Kimberly Kessler Now

kimberly kessler today
DC Number:J81354
Birth Date:05/09/1968
Initial Receipt Date:01/28/2022
Current Facility:LOWELL C.I.
Current Custody:CLOSE
Current Release Date:SENTENCED TO LIFE

Kimberly Kessler Videos

Kimberly Kessler Case

Convicted killer Kimberly Kessler will spend the rest of her life in prison for the murder of 34-year-old Joleen Cummings.

Cummings was reported missing in May 2018 and her body has never been found. In December, Kessler was found guilty of her murder. The two women worked together at Tangles Hair Salon in Fernandina Beach.

Life in prison is the mandatory sentence in a first-degree murder case where the death penalty isn’t sought. But Judge James Daniel said the sentence would be imposed whether required or not.

“Even if it wasn’t a mandatory sentence, life without the possibility of parole would absolutely be appropriate,” he said in the Nassau County courtroom

Kessler’s mental health has been an issue in the case from the beginning. After initially declaring her mentally incompetent to go to trial, the judge later said Kessler was capable of understanding the case against her. She also had used multiple aliases across several states.

The 53-year-old refused to participate in the trial, however, and created disruptions during her brief court appearances. She spent most of the trial in a separate room with a video link to the proceedings.

At one point, emaciated from self-starvation, Kessler sat in an anti-suicide smock staring at the camera during a hearing and screamed an obscenity at the judge.

Jail officials also informed the court she’d regularly strip naked and spread feces on the window of her observation cell.

Despite the outbursts, and her perilous health condition — having dropped from an intake weight of 196 to a low of 74 — she was found mentally competent for trial.

Kimberly Kessler News

A Nassau County jury has found the woman accused of killing her Fernandina Beach hair salon co-worker guilty of first-degree murder and grand theft auto.

Kimberly Kessler, 53, was brought into the courtroom Thursday and given the opportunity to participate as the verdict was read, but she again refused and was removed from the courtroom.

Kessler’s sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 27, but it can only be mandatory life in prison.

Joleen Cummings, 34, was reported missing in May 2018. Kessler is believed to be the last person to see her alive on May 12. The following day, Mother’s Day, Cummings failed to pick up her children. She was reported missing on May 14 after not showing up for work at Tangles Hair Salon.

Her body has never been found, but she is presumed dead.

Cummings’ Ford Explorer was found May 15 in a Home Depot parking lot. Surveillance video shows Kessler abandoning it there May 13, the Sheriff’s Office said. On May 16 Kessler was found sleeping in a car at an Interstate 95 rest stop in St. Johns County.

A closer look at more surveillance video saw Kessler discarding a trash bag and emptying a trash can into Dumpsters near the hair salon that weekend. That led deputies and the FBI to a week-long mid-July search in the Chesser Landfill in Charlton County, Ga.

Evidence also determined there had been a struggle at the salon, including Cummings’ blood on Kessler’s scissors and boots. Evidence showed that Kessler purchased several items such as an electric carving knife, zip ties and garbage bags used to clean up the crime scene and dispose of the body.

Kimberly Kessler was initially charged with auto theft of Cummings’ SUV and was kept behind bars on $500,000 bail. She was eventually indicted on the murder charge.

Kimberly Kessler had been using aliases since 1996. Authorities know of at least 25 aliases she used in 35 cities and 14 states. She underwent multiple evaluations and court hearings to determine her competency and caused several disruptions throug

hout the process. She also went on a hunger strike and lost a substantial amount of weight.

On Wednesday the prosecution rested after a detective told the jury about Kessler’s internet search history in the days leading up to and following Cummings’ disappearance. The defense then called just one witness and also rested after a little more than an hour.

Times below are approximate.

1:09 p.m.: Kessler’s sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 27 at 1:30 p.m.

12:49 p.m.: The jury finds Kessler guilty of first-degree murder and grand theft auto.

12:46 p.m.: Kessler is brought into the courtroom, given the opportunity to participate as the verdict is read. She again refuses and is removed from the courtroom.

12:44 p.m.: The jury has reached a verdict.

11:18 a.m.: The jury has begun deliberations.

10:40 a.m.: Closing arguments are complete. Judge James Daniel is about to read instructions to the jury.

10:23 a.m.: The state is back in front of the jury with a passion. “Considered. Committed. Concealed … Jennifer Sybert … Kimberly Kessler, whatever her name is, she did it.”

10:25 a.m.: “She wasn’t a concerned co-worker searching for updates on the case. She was a murderer on the run!” the state tells the jury in regard to internet searches after Cummings disappeared.

10:16 a.m.: Assistant Public Defender Thomas Townsend argues Kessler’s search history has been taken out of context. He says evidence shows lack of a plan, preparation or premeditation. Says the only proof was there was a fight between the two.

9:53 a.m.: Townsend is giving his closing arguments. He addresses Kessler’s absence (paraphrased): “Everyone’s due process right is respected even if they do not want to participate.”

9:40 a.m.: Prosecutor lists theories for a motive: Cummings called Kessler fake and said she was going to look her up online. Kessler was using a fake name at the time. Kessler did not like Cummings and called her a meth addict. Kessler wanted Cummings’ hair clients. She wanted to murder.

9:31 a.m.: The state is now sharing its theories. Assistant State Attorney Donna Thurson claims Kessler murdered Joleen and removed her body by cutting her up with the electric knife she bought at Walmart. Cummings’ family is visibly shaken up after the state says this.

9:27 a.m.: The state has laid out a timeline from April 30, 2018, to May 16, 2018, and describes the defendant planning a murder and doing research online to then murdering Joleen Cummings on May 12 and cleaning up that night and the days after.

9:20 a.m.: Thurson says Kessler spent weeks premeditating killing Cummings based on her internet search history. A day before Cummings disappeared, Thurson says, Cummings told Kessler “Go away. I don’t like you. You are fake.

9:04 a.m.: Thurson argues Kessler used her own hair-cutting scissors to kill Cummings, whose blood and DNA were found on them. Thurson lists the places blood was found. “You don’t see pools of blood because the defendant spent two days cleaning up the mess she made, but she left evidence.”

8:54 a.m.: The state says Cummings is dead. Despite her body never being found, the state says witnesses knew her for years and she would not abandon her children.

8:42 a.m.: Prosecutor Donna Thurson begins closing arguments.

8:38 a.m.: Judge Daniel brings Kessler to the courtroom to invite her to stay, but she refuses to not disrupt the court. She can be heard yelling “Jordan Beard is Joleen Cummings’ cousin” down the hallway. Once again, that statement has been proven false.

8:32 a.m.: Important note from First Coast News reporter Leah Shields in the courtroom: “In full transparency, I witnessed the women talking in front of the courthouse this morning. I reported it to the bailiff. My grandfather was a Florida Circuit Court Judge and I know how important this trial is. Out of precaution & respect for the court, I reported it.”

8:29 a.m.: The judge is addressing a woman named Michelle in the gallery. He says it has come to his attention that she had interactions outside of the courtroom with two jurors. She promises she only talked to the women about their hair.

8:15 a.m.: Court is scheduled to resume, with closing arguments to begin. The case is expected to go to the jury later in the day.

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