MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A jury recommended death Tuesday evening for a man convicted of killing his friend, cutting up his body and setting his remains on fire.
Michael Bargo was sentenced to death row for the murder of 15-year-old Seath Jackson in 2011, but he was resentenced because the first jury's decision was not unanimous.
Jurors deliberated for almost five hours before handing down the sentence.
Defense attorneys asked the jury to consider that Bargo was 18 years old at the time of the killing and his brain hadn't fully matured.
The jury decided to send Bargo to the death row.— Myrt Price (@MPriceWFTV) April 9, 2019
They also argued he wasn't the mastermind behind the killing.
In April 2011, Amber Wright, then 18, lured Jackson into a Summerfield home.
Bargo and three others killed Jackson, burned his body, stuffed the remains in paint pockets and dumped them in a rock quarry in Ocala.
The state argued Bargo didn't show any mental health issues when he carried out the crime.
Four others are serving life sentences in connection with the murder: Justin Soto, Charlie Ely, Kyle Hooper and Amber Wright.
An Ocala man, James Young Havens III, faces up to 30 years in prison for helping dispose of Jackson's body.
The judge was just handed the verdict. pic.twitter.com/YenQHMmMhe— Myrt Price (@MPriceWFTV) April 9, 2019
Expert witnesses for the defense testified Monday about convicted killer Michael Bargo's mental health.
Bargo was convicted of torturing and killing a 15-year-old Marion County boy.
In April 2011, Amber Wright, then 18, lured Seath Jackson into a Summerfield home. Michael Bargo and three others killed Jackson, burned his body, stuffed the remains in paint pockets and dumped them in a rock quarry in Ocala.
The witnesses testified that Bargo suffered from mental issues, saying he hallucinated and heard and smelled things that were not there while he was incarcerated at the Marion County Jail.
Bargo's mother, Tracey O'Brien, testified Friday.
Bargo’s mom Tracey O’Brien on the stand first this morning. She testified Michael didn’t handle parents’ divorce well. As a child she said he was diagnosed w/ ADD & ADHD...later as bi-polar. #WFTV— Jeff Deal (@JDealWFTV) April 5, 2019
O’Brien said Bargo had a good childhood and came from a good home with supportive parents. She also testified that Bargo was “spoiled” but said Bargo didn’t handle it well when his parents divorced when he was 14 years old.
A man who hired Bargo to care for his lawn testified Thursday that he owed Bargo money and gave him a pistol as payment after Bargo asked for the gun, Channel 9 reporter Jeff Deal tweeted from the courtroom.
A medical examiner testified that Jackson died from gunshot wounds and blunt-force trauma. The medical examiner also said there was residue from a bullet in part of his skull that was recovered.
Forensic investigator with Marion Co Sheriff’s Office testified she found shoe prints and bucket rings in the sand leading up to the lime rock quarry where Jackson’s remains were found #WFTV— Jeff Deal (@JDealWFTV) April 4, 2019
Bargo was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to death in 2013. Bargo, then 21, became Florida's youngest man on death row.
However, in 2017, the Florida Supreme Court granted Bargo a new hearing because the verdict was not unanimous.
- Read: Video confessions played in Marion teen killing trial
- Bargo sentenced; Now youngest man on Florida death row
- Witness testifies about buckets used to dump victim's remains
- Watch: Michael Bargo testifies, blames friend in killing
The jury must decide whether Bargo will face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
In its line of questioning for potential jurors, defense attorneys are trying to show that Bargo's age at the time of the killing, along with mental disorders, were mitigating factors in the crime.
Four other people are serving life sentences: Justin Soto, Charlie Ely, Kyle Hooper and Amber Wright. An Ocala man, James Young Havens III, faces up to 30 years in prison for helping dispose of Jackson's body.
The hearing began Wednesday and is expected to last a week.
- Data breach could affect customers at 6 Central Florida restaurants
- 1 dead after crash involving passenger van, BMW in Apopka
- Child hospitalized after eating methadone in Cape Canaveral home
- Watch: Firefighters save dog trapped under pile of rocks
© 2019 Cox Media Group.