JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Seath Jackson suffered a death many would describe as inhumane. The 15-year-old boy was tortured, shot, his body mutilated and burned, allegedly by people he once considered friends.
Now, two suspects are set to go on trial tomorrow. Kyle Hooper, 17, and Amber Wright, 16, are brother and sister. Action News has learned they'll have one trial, but two separate juries.
We thought that sounded unusual. So we, took our questions to local defense attorney Dale Carson. He told us it's not that uncommon.
"Typically as a defense attorney, you would ask for a trial of severance. So you would want two independent trials. Two independent jury panels. And you wouldn't want any cross contamination," he said.
But he says trying Amber and Kyle together does have its benefits, for the state. "As a matter of judicial efficiency, you're going to have the same witnesses typically. You're going to have the same testimony from the same witnesses. To do it twice costs the government a great deal of money."
He says each criminal defendant has a right to an independent jury. You wouldn't want one jury convicting the other defendant because they thought one was guilty. But he says having two juries could be risky. And if something goes wrong, justice for Seath might have to wait.
Carson said, "In my mind, there's too much room for potential errors. And when that happens, you have to endure an appeal."
Amber Wright and Kyle Hooper are too young to face the death penalty. Opening arguments are set for tomorrow.
Charlie Ely has already been convicted in Seath's death. She's currently serving a life sentence.
Michael Bargo, the accused ring leader is still awaiting trial.