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'Every day I'm tormented': Alan Wade apologizes to family of victims in buried alive case

Wade is being resentenced after previously being given the death penalty. He told a judge that he wants to waive his fifth amendment right and testify.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Court was back in session today as the jury hears the case of Alan Wade, who was convicted in the murder of a 61-year-old Jacksonville couple who was buried alive in 2007 along with three other defendants. 

Three of four, including Wade, a man named Michael Jackson and a woman named Tiffany Cole, were given the death penalty.

The resentencing will again pose the question: Will Wade face life in prison or be given a second death sentence? 

For the past two days, expert witnesses and those close to Wade have testified about Wade's difficult childhood and the psychological impacts this has had.

After the court recessed, Weatherby asked Wade if he understood that by taking the stand, he is waving his fifth amendment rights.

"I'm not concerned about the risks," Wade told the judge. "I just want to apologize to the family and present who I am today to the jury." 

When he took the stand, Wade said: "I'm forever sorry for my senseless, undeserved, unprovoked action. This is the most passionate regret and biggest mistake of my life."

"When I was 20 years old, I arrived to prison," he began. "I turned 21 a couple months after. And for about a year. I couldn't stand to look at the man in the mirror. I was disgusted with the side of myself. And I'd felt this way for some years before. But I really wanted him gone."

Jurors will return Thursday 9 a.m. for closing arguments. They will be given instructions, and then deliberate.

All they must decide is life or death.

RELATED: 'I told him my cancer was his fault': Mother of man who buried Jacksonville couple alive takes the stand

Star witness changes his mind

The trial took a turn last week when star witness Bruce Nixon decided not to testify.

Nixon, former best friend of Wade, was the only one of the four defendants not given the death penalty -- he instead was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Nixon was known to be a reluctant witness, having suffered in prison for his role as a "snitch" in the case. But he became a defiant one on the stand, claiming he was under the influence of drugs, and coached in his testimony by his then-defense attorney back in 2007.

"I was on Xanax and methadone at the time, so I was in and out of consciousness, you know what I’m saying?" he told the judge. "So he filled in the blanks for me, and told me what to say. So I was guided in my testimony. And now I’m 35 years I don’t care what happens to me."

Senior Judge Michael Weatherby, who presided over the original trial, was skeptical. "I am sure that did not happen," he said. 

He cautioned Nixon about the consequences of changing his story. "You could be prosecuted for perjury, and possibly that your plea agreement could be set aside."

Prosecutor Alan Mizrahi echoed that, saying Nixon would again be facing the death penalty if he violated the terms of his plea deal.  

The next day, after some debate, Nixon declined to testify in order to maintain his plea deal.

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