Siblings on trial in Marion County teen's dismemberment

Siblings Kyle Hooper, Amber Wright to stand 1 trial, 2 juries

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. - The trial for the two siblings charged in connection to the slaying of a Marion County teen began on Wednesday, reports WKMG-TV in Orlando.

Kyle Hooper, 17, and his sister, Amber Wright, 16, are being tried together in the same courtroom, but with two separate juries. They are both accused of taking part in the murder of 15-year-old Seath Jackson, who was beaten and shot to death in 2011.

Jackson's mother, Sonya Jackson, took the stand Wednesday afternoon. She said there was some hate between her son and the suspects. She described the relationship between Wright and her son after their breakup as "agitated."

Sonya Jackson said after Wright and Jackson broke up, Wright started dating Michael Bargo, who authorities identified as Jackson's shooter. Sonya Jackson says she witnessed Bargo fighting with Jackson in her driveway and Bargo making a gun-firing gesture with his fingers, pointing at Jackson.

Jurors also heard from Jackson's friend, William Samalot, who said Jackson told him he was on his way home the day he was killed. Prosecutors say instead of going home, Jackson stopped by the home of one of the suspects, Charlie Ely.

When asked if he saw anything strange when he went to Ely's house, Samalot said, "We saw wet paint on the ground. There was ashes spilled toward the back."

Neighbors also testified, saying they saw the fire igniting in the woods the day Jackson was killed.

"She asked the gentleman if it was time to light the fire yet, and he told her, 'Not yet,'" said neighbor Larry Jenkins.

Authorities say Wright and a friend sent text messages to Jackson to lure him to a Summerfield home, where three other men allegedly beat, tied up, and shot the teen. Arrest reports say Jackson's body was burned, and his remains were placed into paint cans and tossed into a limestone pit.

A Marion County judge sentenced one of the other five co-defendants in Seath's murder, 21-year-old Justin Soto, last week after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Still facing first-degree murder charges in addition to Hooper and Wright is 20-year-old Bargo. The fifth suspect, 19-year-old Charlie Kay Ely, received a life sentence last fall.

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