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Michael Bargo pleads the fifth at Fla. trial in murder of Seath Tyler Jackson, 15

State wants death penalty against Michael Bargo for Seath Tyler Jackson murder
Seath Tyler Jackson Personal Photo

(CBS) - The state's first witness in the first-degree murder trial of Charlie Kay Ely, one of five juveniles accused of participating in the murder of 15-year-old Seath Tyler Jackson, was Michael Bargo, the teen accused of firing the shots that killed Jackson on April 17, but prosecutors didn't get very far with him, according to news reports.

Pictures: Six arrested in brutal murder of Fla. boy

When Assistant State Attorney Amy Brendt asked Bargo if he shot Jackson, he immediately invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, according to The Ocala Star Banner.

The judge then stepped in after Bargo said he would continue to invoke his right and ruled Bargo was not available to testify.

Prosecutors may have counted on that, though, because it then allowed prosecutors to question Crystal Anderson about what Bargo said to her after Jackson's death, without her testimony being considered hearsay, the paper reported.

Anderson testified that Bargo confessed to her about beating, shooting and burning Jackson when Bargo reportedly fled to Anderson's home after the incident.

According to Anderson's testimony, Bargo told her they put Jackson's remains in a flooded limerock pit. She claimed she was too scared to call the police immediately, according to the Star Banner.

Authorities say Jackson was lured to Ely's Summerfield home,60 miles north of Orlando , where he was beaten, tied up and shot. According to arrest reports, Jackson's body was burned and his remains were placed into buckets and tossed into a lime pit.

During opening statements, the prosecution claimed Ely confessed during police interviews to being a part of the plot. The defense argued Ely was held at gunpoint and forced to help dispose of Jackson's body, according to local station WESH.

The other juveniles involved include Bargo, 19; Kyle Hooper, 17; Justin Soto, 20; and Amber Wright, 15.

According to the Star Banner, prosecutors have said that they will seek the death penalty against Bargo, who is alleged to have been the mastermind of the murder plot.

Bargo was indicted for premeditated first-degree murder with a firearm. The rest were indicted for first-degree premeditated murder.

Complete coverage of Seath Tyler Jackson on Crimesider

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