The same jury that convicted Michael Bargo of first degree murder at the beginning of the week must now decide if he will receive the death penalty or life in prison for the 2011 murder of 15-year-old Seath Jackson of Summerfield.
The defense attorney along with the defendant, Bargo, filed a motion for a new jury at a sentencing hearing Friday morning.
The motion came after the jury panel asked a question about their safety before they announced their verdict. Bargo’s defense attorney said that he wanted a chance to individually interview the jurors about why they were scared.
However opening statements got underway for the penalty phase of the trial after Judge David Eddy denied the defenses motion.
Bargo receiving the death penalty would make him Florida’s youngest active inmate on death row according to the Florida Department of Corrections Death row roster.
As of now the youngest death row inmate is Terrance Phillips-22, who was sentenced last year for the deadly 2009 Christmas Eve shooting in Jacksonville that left two people dead.
Michael Bargo is the alleged mastermind of the group of six charged in the Brutal Murder of Seath Jackson and is the only one of the six facing the death penalty.
For their roles in luring Jackson to a home in Summerfield, Florida where the group severely beat, shot, dismembered the body, and burned the remains of 15-year-old Seath Jackson; Amber Wright, Kyle Hooper, Charlie Ely, and Justin Soto have already received life in prison without the possibility of parole.
James Havens, who was ruled incompetent to stand trial last year on the charge of accessory after the fact to murder, testified at Bargo’s trial saying he left while the group was “joking” about a plan to kill Jackson.
“I didn’t want to be around when they were joking around about this, so I left,” said Havens.
He then stated that he received a call from Bargo in the middle of the night saying that the “deed is done.”
State Attorney Amy Berndt then asked, “What did you do after he told you, the deed is done?”
Havens responded, “I hung up and went back to sleep.”
Defense attorney Charles Hallowman then asked Havens, “You say the deed was done. What did you think it was?”
“I have no idea, sir. I was half asleep,” said Havens.
Havens went on to say that the next morning he returned to the home of Ely, where Bargo and another young man loaded cinder blocks and paint buckets into his truck.
Holloman asked skeptically, “You had no idea what was in those buckets?”
Havens responded, “No sir.”
Kristen Williams a former girlfriend of Bargo’s also testified at his trial saying that Bargo told her “that they ended up shooting him, taking him apart, burning him, and then taking him to a rock quarry in buckets.”
The jury soon will recommend a sentence. However Judge Eddy has the final say in what Mr. Bargo’s punishment will be; life or death.
This is most likely the most heinous, twisted, and sickening crime Marion County has seen.