Summerfield pleads guilty, will serve at least 30 years in prison

By on December 15, 2014


Summerfield with his lawyers in court Monday. (Catherine Kozak)

Nathan Summerfield will serve a minimum of 30 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to one count of second-degree murder and two kidnapping charges in the 2012 killing of Lynn Jackenheimer.

Dare County Superior Court Judge Jerry Tillett imposed consecutive sentences for what were described as heinous crimes aggravated by the use of a deadly weapon, a knife, and the young age of one of the kidnapping victims, the couple’s son.

The maximum total sentence for the 29-year-old Ashland, Ohio man will be a little more than 38 years on charges of murder, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree kidnapping.

Jackenheimer, 33, who was also from Ashland, was last seen alive the night of July 3, 2012 chasing ghost crabs with her two children. Summerfield later dropped the children off with relatives in Ohio, and disappeared.


Nathan Summerfield

The 13-year-old girl, Jackenheimer’s daughter from a previous relationship, and the 3-year-old boy, her son with Summerfield, were unharmed. He was eventually tracked down and arrested on Aug. 15 in an Ohio motel room.

After a frantic search by law enforcement officials and friends and family, Jackenheimer’s body was found on July 14 in the brush off a Frisco cul-de-sac. She was 33.

Special prosecutor H.P. Williams was appointed last year to try the case because District Attorney Andrew Womble had briefly represented Summerfield when he was serving as the district’s Public Defender.

Prosecutors decided last year that Summerfield would not face the death penalty. He was represented by Samuel Dixon and Jackson Warmack, both from Edenton.

Check back soon for more coverage of today’s court developments.

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