Clay County man sentenced to 40 years for killing girlfriend, holding her parents hostage

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. — A Clay County man will spend forty years in prison after killing his girlfriend, later tying up her parents and holding them hostage for days.


We want to warn you, some of the details in this story are disturbing.

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Action News Jax first told you in 2022 when Aubrey Lumpkin, now 47, confessed to multiple crimes, after a hostage situation in Green Cove Springs.

ORIGINAL STORY: Report: Man accused of tying up couple for days told deputies he killed someone during arrest

Lumpkin pleaded guilty and admitted to killing his girlfriend, Jana Bramer in September of 2020. In April of 2022, Lumpkin broke into Joyce and Michael Bramer’s home with an accomplice, wearing masks.

“I was told they needed my bank codes to transfer more money,” Joyce Bramer said in court Thursday.

Lumpkin then tied up the 70 and 71-year-old and held them hostage for days.

“We were tied up with duct tape. Our hands were bound,” Joyce Bramer said. “Then our hands were pulled behind our back, and taped together. Then, our heads were wrapped so we could not see.”

It was while they were tied up, that Lumpkin told the couple he had murdered their daughter, while high on crack cocaine.

“Then, he tells us he was responsible for our daughter Jana’s death. We thought she had run away in September of 2020,” Joyce Bramer said. The couple was still receiving messages from Jana’s phone. “[He] pretended to be her for months. He knew her so well that he could message just like her.”

RELATED: Friend of Green Cove man accused of tying up elderly couple ‘stunned’

Lumpkin said he and Jana got into an argument and he repeatedly punched her. She fell to the ground and died. Lumpkin said he attempted CPR, but could not revive her. He then dragged her body into the woods and buried her behind her grandparent’s home.

Lumpkin took a plea deal for his crimes in early April.

During his sentencing, his daughter and son sat in the gallery. Lumpkin’s attorney read a letter on his daughter, Sarah’s behalf to the judge. Lumpkin was in prison until she was fourteen for drug-related crimes. She said once he was released, he showed up in more ways than one.

Sarah said her father taught her how to drive and helped her pick out a prom dress. She said he even saved their family from homelessness at one point. Sarah acknowledged that his crimes have caused a lot of hurt, and said it’s hard to wrap her head around this.

Lumpkin addressed the courtroom on Thursday.

RELATED: Man who said he was involved in burying a body in Green Cove Springs charged with manslaughter

“Rest in peace Jana. She was buried in a shallow grave and deserved better,” Lumpkin said. “Have mercy on my soul.”

Lumpkin’s plea deal stated he was “adjudicated guilty” and as a result would receive a negotiated sentence between 20 and 50 years.

“My life is changed in a way that no one should have to experience,” Joyce Bramer said. “But, I am strong with the help of my husband Michael.”

The judge handed down 40 years, with credit for 716 days served.

While the judge was in his chambers deciding the sentence, Joyce Bramer turned to Aubrey Lumpkin’s daughter and son in the courtroom gallery and said “it’s not your fault.” His children were in tears as they said, “thank you.”

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