OCALA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Walking in, in a striped jumpsuit, with hands and feet cuffed, 19-year-old Amber Wright appeared before a Marion County judge on Tuesday morning, to be sentenced for her role in the 2011 murder of 15-year-old Seath Jackson.
After her parents and others spoke, Wright took the stand to defend herself one last time. "I have so much remorse, and so much goes inside of me. I ask for forgiveness from the family, and from everyone around. It's hard to forgive myself. I'm still here, he's not. I understand that, but I also want to make myself a better person,” Wright said, adding, “I’m not saying I deserve to go home right now. I’m not saying I don’t deserve punishment, because I do. I do. I deserve to be punished. But, I also feel like I deserve a second chance.”
Judge Anthony Tatti wasn’t moved. He sentenced Wright to life in prison. She will be eligible for commutation of her sentence in 25 years. Judge Tatti said he has never seen or heard of anything more despicable than what led to Jackson's death.
Prosecuting Assistant State Attorney Amy Berndt said, "This is probably one of the most brutal murders in Marion County."
This was the second time Wright was found guilty of murder. A retrial was ordered after her original conviction. Four other teens were also involved in Jackson’s murder. All are serving life sentences, except for the "ringleader." Michael Bargo. He is on death row.
In court on Tuesday, Amy Berndt said, "A 15-year old was shot, beaten. His body was mutilated. His teeth were pulled out. The body was burned in a fire pit, and the remains were dumped in a lime rock pit."
Sonia Jackson, Seath's mother, took the stand before Wright’s sentencing was handed down. "The loss of our son is the most difficult thing we have ever had to bear," she said.
Jackson's mother couldn't hold back her tears as she addressed the court and Wright. "Amber, we hope that that guilt eats you inside and out. Knowing that you caused all this. You fed into Bargo's deranged desires with your lies,” Jackson said. "You helped take Seath's life. We hope he haunts the rest of yours."