Florida woman, 19, gets life prison term for fatal ambush

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 17, 2011 4:18 PM
Florida woman, 19, gets life prison term for fatal ambush

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - A 19-year-old Florida woman was sentenced to life in prison on Monday for the brutal murder of a teenager who was lured by text message to a fatal ambush, prosecutors said.

The woman, Charlie Kay Ely, was found guilty in September of first-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Seath Tyler Jackson, who was beaten, shot and burned in April in Summerfield, northwest of Orlando.

Four other defendants, who ranged in age from 15 to 20 at the time of their arrests, remain in jail awaiting trial on first-degree murder charges, prosecutors in Ocala said.

Ely and another girl used a cell phone to text Jackson and persuade him to come to Ely's home where three young men were waiting, according to the arrest affidavit.

Authorities said the men then beat and shot Jackson, put him in a bathtub and tried to break his kneecaps so he could be folded and stuffed in a sleeping bag.

The sleeping bag was thrown into a fire pit that had been lit before Jackson arrived. Later, Jackson's remains were shoveled into five-gallon paint cans, authorities said.

The only motive for the killing noted in the arrest affidavit was that the alleged shooter, 19-year-old Michael Bargo, hated Jackson.

At Ely's trial, Jackson's mother testified that her son and Bargo once argued in front of the Jackson home, according to a report in the Ocala Star-Banner newspaper.

Jurors deliberated about an hour before finding Ely guilty and told the newspaper they relied to a great extent on her videotaped confession.

In addition to Ely and Bargo, the other three defendants are Amber Wright, 15; Justin Soto, 20; and Kyle Hooper, 17.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Cynthia Johnston)