The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a death sentence in the high-profile murder of a 15-year-old boy in 2011 in Marion County.
Justices, in a 6-1 decision, rejected an appeal by Michael Shane Bargo, who was convicted in the murder of Seath Jackson.
The victim was lured to a home and then attacked by Bargo and co-defendants, before being fatally shot by Bargo, according to the Supreme Court opinion. Jackson’s body was burned, with the ashes disposed in a water-filled rock quarry.
After Bargo was convicted, a jury voted 10-2 to recommend that he should face the death penalty. A circuit judge sentenced him to death, but the Supreme Court later ordered a new sentencing hearing because the jury recommendation was not unanimous.
During the resentencing, a jury unanimously recommended a death sentence, which was imposed. In the appeal, Bargo’s attorney raised a series of issues, including that a circuit judge had not appropriately considered “mitigating” factors involving Bargo having mental conditions.
But the Supreme Court majority, made up of Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justices Ricky Polston, Alan Lawson, Carlos Muniz, John Couriel and Jamie Grosshans, rejected the arguments.
Justice Jorge Labarga dissented, writing that the court should have conducted what is known as a “comparative proportionality review” that analyzes aggravating and mitigating factors in the case, Bargo, now 29, is an inmate at Union Correctional Institution, according to the state Department of Corrections website.