Man indicted on charges of first degree murder in deaths of two Florida teens, state attorney seeks death penalty

Mark Wilson Jr. was arrested  by Putnam County deputies in connection with the slaying of two...
Mark Wilson Jr. was arrested by Putnam County deputies in connection with the slaying of two boys.(Source: Putnam County Sheriff's Office/Facebook)
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 4:04 PM EDT
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PALATKA, Fla. (WCJB) - A man arrested for murdering two teenage boys in Melrose in August was indicted on Tuesday.

Mark Wilson Jr. was indicted by a Putnam County Grand Jury on two counts of First Degree Murder, 1 count of Burglary with a Battery, and 1 count of Burglary while Armed.

Wilson Jr. was arrested for killing brothers, 12-year-old Robert Baker and 14-year old Tayten Baker. Wilson was a long time family friend and the aunt’s boyfriend. He was living on the property at the time of the murders.

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“We are electronically filing our intent to seek the death penalty with a list of aggravating factors,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza in a press conference. “The aggravating factors are the defendant was previously convicted of another capital felony or of a felony in the use of threat of violence to a person. Because these were double homicides committed almost simultaneously, we believe hat aggravator applies.

“Also the capital felony was committed while the defendant was engaged in the commission of a burglary - a forceable felony. We also believe the capital felony are murders were especially heinous, atrocious and cruel. We also believe that they were committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner,” he added. "We have consulted with the family before making this decision, as well as consulting with the executive team and homicide prosecutors. I can tell you it was not a difficult decision to make.”

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Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach described Wilson as a ‘sick monster’ on a Facebook post shortly after the incident. According to investigators, Wilson used a hammer and a knife as his murder weapons. The boys' mother and younger sibling were both at home but were unharmed. The father was not at home at the time.

“Our thoughts remain with the family.. who are still grieving their tragic deaths,” said DeLoach during the press conference. “I can say this is truly one of the most horrific crimes scenes that I have ever seen in my life.”

“If there was ever a case for the death penalty, this is the one,” “Larizza said.

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