Jury recommends death penalty in Michael Bargo murder trial

Updated:

Loading

MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Late Tuesday afternoon a Marion County jury recommended death for Michael Bargo.

Last week, the jury convicted Bargo of first-degree murder in the 2011 slaying of 15-year-old Seath Jackson.

"By a vote of 10 to 2, we the jury recommend the defendant be sentenced to death," the court clerk read aloud.

Bargo stood by his attorney as he learned the same jury that convicted him decided he deserved to die.

Investigators said in 2011 Bargo and four others lured Jackson to a home, beat him, shot him to death, burned and dismembered his body. They then stuffed the remains in paint buckets and dumped them in a rock quarry.

On Tuesday prosecutors called it a cold, calculated and premeditated murder that was prompted by a dispute over a girl.

"He wanted Seath alive in the bathtub, so when Seath took his last breath, the last thing he would see is the defendant standing over him," prosecutor Amy Berndt said in court.

They asked jurors to recommend death, but Bargo's defense attorney argued that Bargo didn't act alone. The others involved in the case are now serving life sentences.

He also said it's clear Bargo is mentally ill and either way, he'll die in prison.

"The killing of Michael Bargo will not bring back Seath Jackson," defense attorney Charles Holloman said in court.

But Holloman didn't sway the jurors.

Afterward, Sonia Jackson, Seath Jackson's mother, said she finally has some justice for her son.

"(Bargo) made his choice when he took Seath's life. He decided his own fate," she said.

The judge will take the death recommendation and make the final decision on Bargo's sentence, likely sometime next month.

If Bargo is sentenced to death, at 21 years old he'll be the youngest person on Florida's death row.