Arrest in Murder Case Comes After Odd Offer

Woman was trying to sell victims' pickup for $200, explaining why they didn't need it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2020 10:40 AM CDT
Updated Mar 14, 2020 2:23 PM CDT
Break in Murder Case Comes After Unusual Offer
Suspect Todd Jackson.   (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

Police have made three arrests in the murder of a couple who were killed in their own bed near Haines City, Fla., and the break in the case came in a strange way—involving a $200 offer for the victims' truck. Coverage:

  • The murders: Between two and three weeks ago, police say 33-year-old Raymond Cline and his wife, 37-year-old Crystal Cline, were fatally shot while they slept, reports the Tampa Bay Times.
  • The suspects: Police say Todd Jackson, 34, sneaked into the couple's home overnight and killed them, and he's now charged with first-degree murder. After the killings, police say he called his stepdaughter, Amberlyn Nichols, and her boyfriend, Larry Waters, both 19, to help clean up the crime scene and remove the bodies. They face charges including accessory and failure to report a death, reports WITI.

  • The offer: The murder of the couple might have gone unreported longer, but police say Nichols tried to sell the victims' pickup for $200, reports the Washington Post. What's more, she reportedly told would-be buyers the victims no longer needed the truck because they'd been killed. At least one person called police, who arrested Nichols at the victims' residence, where she'd been living there on and off since the killings.
  • The sheriff: "She actually was telling people that the victim was shot in the head, and was dead, and that they needed to get rid of his truck," says Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. "Keep in mind the bizarreness of this," he added at a weekend news conference. "Why in the world would one of the accessories be trying to sell the truck for $200 and tell the people she's trying to sell it to the reason the victims don't need it is, they were murdered? Just crazy."
  • The motive: Nichols told police Jackson killed the couple because he said they owed him about $30,000, reports WTSP. Police say she confessed her role a week ago Friday and led them to a nearby swamp where the men allegedly dumped the bodies. The victims were discovered the following day. Nichols also is charged with dealing stolen property.
(More Florida stories.)

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