A teen triangle and bitter Facebook feud culminated in the savage killing of a 15-year-old Florida boy who was lured to his death by his former girlfriend, law-enforcement officials said.
Seath Jackson was hit in the head and shot, but he still tried desperately to flee the home in Summerfield where the attack occurred Sunday, police said.
He was shot again and his body was placed in a bathtub, where his knees were broken so his body would fit in a sleeping bag. He was still alive, so he was shot again, and then his body was burned in a backyard fire pit, according to arrest documents. His ashes were shoveled into paint containers.
Michael Bargo, 18; Amber Wright, 15; her brother Kyle Hooper, 16; Charlie Ely, 18; and Justin Soto, 20, have been charged with first-degree murder. James Haven, 37, has been charged with accessory to murder for allegedly helping to dispose of the body and driving Bargo out of town.
"It's an unimaginable act, the idea that six people would come together and carry out to kill a 15-year-old," Marion County Police Officer Judge Cochran said. "It's not something you expect to happen anywhere, particularly not in Marion County. We're a religious community. People move here for the level of quiet."
Police said the killing had its origins in the animosity between Bargo and the victim. "This violence came from Michael Bargo's intense hatred for Seath Jackson. Because of the hatred, he formed a plan to kill him," said Cochran.
The hatred seemed tied to Jackson's relationship with Amber Wright, his ex-girlfriend. In early March, he wrote "love you Amber" on his Facebook wall, but by April 7 he was calling her "slut."
A public battle began on Facebook on April 8 when Wright wrote on Jackson's page: "I got so tired of you treating me like I was nothing. If you're so perfect, why don't you get over your jealousy and get a new girl you can hurt. ... You know I cared deeply about you. I stuck with you through a lot of stuff. ... It takes a real man to accept the fact he got broken up with."
According to Bargo's lawyer, Charles Holloman, Bargo "had affection" for Amber that sparked fury at Jackson. "He was concerned about the way she was being treated. He wasn't the only one who was concerned," the lawyer said.
On Sunday, Wright sent a barrage of text messages to Jackson luring him to Ely's house, according to arrest documents. When he arrived, Bargo, Hooper and Soto hit him in the head with wooden objects, police say. Then the grisly and prolonged killing began, cops said.
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About Jim Liebelt
Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
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