Siblings found guilty in death of Seath Jackson
Jury finds Amber Wright, Kyle Hooper guilty
MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Amber Wright and Kyle Hooper have both been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death and dismemberment of Seath Jackson on Tuesday afternoon.
Hooper, 17, and his sister, Wright, 16, were tried together in the same courtroom, but with two separate juries. They are both accused of taking part in the murder of Wright's ex-boyfriend, 15-year-old Jackson, who was beaten and shot to death in 2011.
Both Wright and Hooper now face up to life in prison, but the U.S. Supreme Court is debating whether a life sentence is too harsh for juveniles.
Hooper's jury came to a verdict in 45 minutes. He testified on Tuesday, saying he didn't mean for Jackson to be killed. Hooper said he hit Jackson and cleaned up after the murder, but the two others involved actually killed him. Hooper did confirm with what prosecutors said about how he wanted his sister's ex-boyfriend dead.
Wright cried in court as the jury read the verdict after three hours of deliberation. Hooper was on the stand testifying when the verdict was reached. His testimony was stopped and Wright and her jury were brought in.
The jury for Wright started deliberating on Tuesday morning after they heard closing arguments from prosecutors. Prosecutors showed jurors text messages the 16-year-old allegedly sent to her ex-boyfriend, Jackson, that lured him to the house where he was ambushed and killed.
The jury also heard Wright's videotaped confession to the police in which she admitted her role in the plot. Wright's attorney says she didn't participate in the killing, but a group of friends did.
Arrest reports say Jackson's body was burned, and his remains were placed into paint cans and tossed into a limestone pit.
A Marion County judge sentenced one of the other five co-defendants in Seath's murder, 21-year-old Justin Soto, last month after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. Still facing first-degree murder charges in addition to Hooper and Wright is 21-year-old Michael Bargo. If convicted, Bargo faces the death penalty.
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