Disturbing details continue to emerge as police try to figure out why four teenagers and a 20-year-old brutally murdered 15-year-old Seath Jackson, burned his body, and stored his remains in paint cans last weekend in a small town near Ocala. Police have placed 18-year-old Michael Bargo, who they believe was the ringleader and instigator of the vicious crime, on suicide watch. Meanwhile, one of the suspects, 18-year-old Charlie Ely, says she took part in the crime only because others threatened to kill her if she didn't go along with the plan.
So far, police can point only to a twisted plan of revenge as motive. Riptide posted messages from Jackson's Facebook wall showing that Jackson had recently broken up with 15-year-old Amber Wright and that she had possibly begun dating Bargo.
News 13 says Bargo wanted to exact revenge on Jackson for allegedly hitting Wright. It's believed Bargo ordered Wright to lure Jackson to the house by sending him a text saying she wanted to rekindle their relationship. When he arrived, he was greeted with a .22-caliber rifle and shot several times. The perpetrators then broke his legs, stuffed him into a sleeping bag, and burned his body in a prelit fire in the backyard.
Bargo, Wright, her 16-year-old brother Kyle Hooper, 20-year-old Justin Soto, and 18-year-old Ely have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder. All five could face the death penalty, and Wright and Hooper are expected to be tried as adults. Thirty-seven-year-old James Haven, Wright and Hooper's stepfather, was also arrested as an accessory to the crime.
Ely's motivation to take part in the murder has remained unclear, and so far she is the only suspect to talk to the media.
"They said that I'd be killed and it wasn't just a threat," Ely told journalists during a tearful jailhouse interview.
"It was a gun pointed in my face and everything."
The suspect says she was in a separate room, possibly with Wright, while most of the violence occurred in another room of the house.
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Ely said that she's "really not a bad person" and that she feels sorry for Jackson and his family, adding that she had met Jackson only twice before the incident.
Ely also said she's never been behind bars and has been to jail only to visit her father, husband, and uncle.