The state's first witness on Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of Charlie Kay Ely was Michael Bargo, who is accused of firing the shots that killed Seath Jackson on April 17 in Ocala, Florida. Assistant State Attorney Amy Berndt concluded that Ely was not a small player in the incident. According to Berndt, Ely didn't seem to be too scared when she sent 108 texts and received at least two phone calls in three hours after Seath's death.
The prosecution alleges Ely helped lure Seath to her home, knowing that he was going to be killed. The plan was to kill Seath because he had been talking trash about his ex who was now dating Bargo.
The defense argues that the state has no direct evidence that Ely knew Seath was going to be killed.
Florida law states that in order to be a principal to first-degree murder, a person must do or say something that directly causes the crime to be committed.
Bargo entered the courtroom in his red and white-striped jail uniform outside the presence of the jury.
Assistant State Attorney Amy Brendt asked Bargo if he shot Seath Jackson, but Bargo immediately invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination
Circuit Court Judge David Eddy asked Bargo if he would continue to invoke his right if questioned further. Bargo said he would.
The judge ruled Bargo was not available to testify and then the jury was brought into the courtroom.Bargo's appearance in court paved the way for prosecutors to question Crystal Anderson about what Bargo said to her following Seath's death. That would be considered hearsay and wouldn't be allowed in court normally.
Crystal Anderson-mother of Bargo's girlfriend
-Bargo confessed to her about beating, shooting and burning 15-year-old Seath.
-Bargo fled to Anderson's home shortly after the incident.
-Bargo had dated Anderson's daughter for about six months.
-Bargo told her that they disposed of the remains in a flooded limerock pit.
When asked why she did not immediately call law enforcement after Bargo told her what had happened, she said she was scared.
-"He said he has done something crazy. He said he shot him eight times. I was scared."
Kathleen Schmidt and Lisa Berg-Marion County Sheriff's crime scene technicians
-helped process the crime scene at Ely's Summerfield home.
-Schmidt went though photographs of an unkempt house, where .22-caliber ammunition, as well as spent shell casings, were recovered.
-several areas in the bathroom, where Seath was reportedly killed, showed the presence of blood.
-Schmidt further said they found a fire pit behind Ely's home, where Seath's body was presumably burned.
-five deformed lead fragments resembling bullets were found in the pit. There were also numerous fragments that looked like bone in the ash.
-Berg later testified that she collected evidence at the limerock pit where Seath's remains were dumped in three 5-gallon buckets.
-Berg photographed and made casts of shoe prints and rings, which looked like impressions made by the buckets, stretching over a 1½-mile road leading to the pit.
Michael Warren-Head of the C.A. Pound Human Identification Lab at the University of Florida
-more than 100 human bone fragments were found in the pit and were scattered randomly.
- testified that the buckets, two of which were found in 12 feet of water and the other floating on the surfaces, contained more burned bone and some charred portions of internal organs
-testified that parts of Seath's heart, kidney and liver were recovered.
At the end of the day a jury found her guilty. Let's hope it's the same for the others. Bargo, 19; Justin Soto, 20; Kyle Hooper, 17; and Amber Wright, 15, are all charged with first-degree murder. The other four have pleaded not guilty and await their own trials.
Bargo and James Havens III, 37, are accused of disposing of Seath's remains. Havens is Wright and Hooper's stepfather. He pleaded not guilty to serving as an accessory to first-degree murder after the fact and is awaiting trial as well.
Prosecutors have said that they will seek the death penalty against Bargo, who is alleged to have been the mastermind of the murder plot.