MARION COUNTY, Fla. - The Marion County teenager sentenced to life in prison after prosecutors said she lured her ex-boyfriend to his death has won her fight for a new trial.
Amber Wright, 18, was one of the five people involved in the killing of 15-year-old Seath Jackson in 2011.
She was granted a new trial after an appeals court found one of the key interviews that she gave to deputies should not have been used in her original trial and violated her rights.
Prosecutors said Wright lured Jackson into a home, and then Michael Bargo and three others killed him, burned his body, stuffed the remains in paint pockets, and dumped them in a rock quarry.
Investigators said they did it because of a romantic dispute involving Wright.
Wright’s mother, Tracy Wright, was shocked when she heard her daughter will be getting a new trial.
“When I heard the news, I just started to cry. I couldn’t do anything but cry,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it.”
Amber Wright’s attorney, Paula Coffman, filed an appeal with the 5th District Court, which reversed the murder conviction because in one of the interviews where deputies got a confession from Wright, she wasn’t read her Miranda Rights.
That confession wasn’t allowed at trial, but another one, where deputies read her rights and asked her to repeat her confession, was.
The appeals court said the second confessions should not have been allowed in the trial either.
“She was 15, she didn’t know what was going on,” said Tracey Wright.
Tracy Wright said she’s thrilled for her daughter’s second chance, but also sympathizes for Jackson’s family, who will have to go through the whole trial process again.
“I still feel for Seath Jackson’s family. I’m sure they’re going to be upset about what’s going on right now,” she said. “It was awful for us, awful for the victim’s family.”
Wright’s brother, Kyle Hooper, is also serving a life sentence in the same crime, but WFTV learned he could get a break on his sentence.
The appeals court also decided he should be re-sentenced after some Supreme Court rulings made it clear juveniles should not be sentenced to life in prison without the chance for parole.
Hooper was 16 years old at the time of the murder, as was Amber Wright.
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