After a five-day sentencing trial, a Florida jury unanimously recommended the death penalty for a man convicted earlier this month of brutally murdering two boys.
Mark Wilson was found guilty of first-degree murder earlier this month for the deaths of Tatyen, 14, and Robert Baker, 12.
When Wilson beat the boys with a hammer before slitting their throats, he was living with his wife, the boys’ aunt, in a shed on the family’s Melrose property.
Sarah Baker, their mother, was sleeping in the house during the murders, but a homicide detective testified she couldn’t hear them in the living room from her bedroom.
One of the worst murder scenes he had ever seen was at the property, according to the Putnam County sheriff.
According to State Attorney R.J. Larizza at a news conference shortly after the killings, “I’ve worked in the criminal justice system since 1980, and these are some of the most brutal murders I’ve seen. He attacked these two kids without mercy.”
Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Dunton testified that Wilson attempted to slit older brother Tayten’s throat multiple times or sawed through his neck.
The younger brother, Robert, was reportedly nearly decapitated after his throat was slashed.
As Baker testified during the trial, Wilson sharpened a knife outside before the murders that would later be matched to the murder knife. The body of her oldest son was found at the end of an 18-foot trail of blood. At first, the extent of the injuries of the boys could not be seen because they were covered in blankets.
It was Wilson’s mother, Chrisy Adkins, who played a pivotal role in the investigation as a confidential informant who agreed to record the conversation with her son.
As she said on the stand, “I told Mark he needed to cooperate, take a lie detector test, and clear his name. He got out of bed and said, ‘I can’t do that,’ and I asked him if he hurt those babies… and he said, ‘Yes, mom, I did it’ in a voice that was not his own.”
According to witnesses and police records, Wilson and his wife were both drug users. Adkins claimed her son spoke strangely, especially when he was high on drugs.
According to the recorded conversation played in the courtroom, Wilson murdered the boys in fear that the family would report him and his wife to the Department of Children and Families. According to a Putnam County Sheriff’s Office arrest warrant, he and his wife also planned to annihilate the entire family.