OCALA — A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in a Summerfield teen’s brutal killing. Justin Soto pleaded guilty to first-degree murder during his trial this week. He will join his three co-defendants in the April 2011 killing of 15-year-old Seath Jackson. Amber Wright, Kyle Hooper and Charlie Ely have already been sentenced to life in prison for their roles. The murder was cold, calculated and premeditated, authorities say.
The five conspirators lured Jackson to a home in Summerfield, where they shot him multiple times, beat him and burned his body alive. They then dumped the charred remains into paint buckets that were then carried to a water-filled quarry and thrown in. The group had hoped to make the crime look like a robbery. The group, which prosecutors say included Michael Bargo, Charlie Ely and one of Wright’s stepbrothers, had been planning the murder for several weeks.
Justin joined the Spectrum News 13 team in 2016 as a Digital Journalist and was promoted to Weekend Morning Anchor in October 2017. A Central Florida native, he loves the opportunity to work in a market that he knows so well. He’s motivated each day by the ability to tell stories that make a difference. He believes great journalism comes from going the extra mile, paying special attention to all aspects of an issue and delivering an experience that makes a lasting impact on viewers.