MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WFTV) -- A Marion County jury found Michael Bargo, 21, guilty Tuesday of first-degree murder in the killing of 15-year-old Seath Jackson over a rivalry involving a girlfriend.
The jury deliberated for three hours before coming back with a guilty verdict for Bargo. The sentencing phase of his trial is scheduled to begin on Friday.
Four people are already serving life sentences in the case, including Amber Wright, Charlie Kay Ely, Justin Soto and Kyle Hooper, but prosecutors said Bargo was the ringleader and triggerman.
Bargo and four others lured Jackson to a home, beat him, shot him and then dismembered his body. After that, the group burned the remains, stashed them in paint buckets and dumped them in a rock quarry.
In a surprise move, Bargo took the stand Monday and attempted to steer motivation for the killing toward Hooper.
"I know how Kyle can get. He's real short-tempered," said Bargo. "He's pissed because (his girlfriend) left him."
Bargo told jurors on the day Jackson died, Hooper was angry because he believed Jackson had slept with a girl he liked.
Bargo testified that day someone had stolen his gun, which is the gun investigators said was used to kill Jackson.