Michael Bargo found guilty of first-degree murder

Jury finds Bargo shot, killed 15-year-old Seath Jackson

Local 6 News at Noon
Local 6 News at Noon

OCALA, Fla. – Michael Bargo has been found guilty by a jury on Tuesday of murdering and dismembering a teenager in Marion County.

Just before 11 a.m., jurors began deliberating the fate of Bargo, 21, one of five people accused in the April 2011 shooting death of 15-year-old Seath Jackson.

The penalty phase is expected to begin on Friday and will last at least three days, according to  Marion County court officials. Bargo faces the death penalty.

Bargo showed no emotion as the jury read its verdict. Bargo's father said it was difficult to hear the verdict but said he has "no comments."

Before reading the verdict, the judge said the jury had asked if they should be concerned for their safety about the verdict. The judge said they shouldn't be concerned for their safety.

Prosecutors say Jackson was lured to a Summerfield home and beaten before being shot and killed.  His body was then burned and the ashes were placed into paint cans and dumped in a pit, officials said.

Bargo took the stand Monday in a surprise move, saying he did not have anything to do with Jackson's death.

Bargo said that he was not there when Jackson was killed, instead saying he arrived at the house where the four other suspects were crying and cleaning up blood. He also said they had started a fire and were burning the teenager's body.


"I went out there and I see this fire.  I was kind of dumbfounded, there (are) trees all around and this fire is like 20 feet tall," Bargo said Monday from the stand, adding that he was afraid for his life and didn't tell anyone he knew his friends had killed Jackson.

Two state witnesses testified that Bargo confessed to taking part in the Jackson's death.

Four others were convicted in the case and sentenced to life in prison.

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