Justin Soto Sentenced to Life
Late Wednesday afternoon 21-year-old Justin Soto, one of six people accused in the murder of 15-year-old Seath Jackson, was sentenced to Life in Prison without Parole.
"I'm very saddened by this," Soto's attorney, William Miller told TV20. "I don't think anyone wins in anything like this. It's a tragedy."
Soto's next hearing wasn't scheduled until June 25th, but Soto made the decision to change his original plea of "not guilty" in fear the State would seek the death penalty.
Soto was charged with Capital First Degree Murder.
Detectives say a group of teens ranging in age from 15 to 20 lured Seath Jackson to a Summerfield home last April.
There, Jackson was beaten and shot to death-- his body burned in a fire pit.
"Anyone can be caught in a situation where life and death is being determined in split-second decisions," Miller said. "You make the wrong one and horrible things can happen."
The father of alleged ring leader, Michael Bargo, was in the courtroom.
But it was the mother of Seath Jackson who quietly sobbed as she heard today's verdict.
"It's not the first life that's been ruined by this and it won't be the last," Miller told TV20.
Judge David Eddy already sentenced Soto's co-defendant, Charlie Ely to spend the rest of her life in jail.
Three others accused in the murder still await their fate.
On Monday, a jury will begin to be selected for the trial of Kyle Hooper and Amber Wright, the young brother and sister also accused of murder.
- Hooper, Wright Sentenced to Life in Seath Jackson Murder Case
- Marion County Convicted Rapist Michael Frye Sentenced to Life in Prison
- Jury in Michael Bargo Trial Considers Life or Death Sentence
- Hopkin's Prairie Fire Tears Through More than 19-Hundred Acres in Marion County
- Inmates Beat Victim, Threaten Justin Soto
- Seath Jackson Trial Jose Baez Signs On
- TV20 Exclusive: Seath Jackson Murder One Year Ago
- The Ocala Marion County Veterans Memorial Park
- Man Gets Life Sentence for Boy's Death
- Man Sentenced to Life in Prison