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State Seeks Death Penalty for Fla. Man Accused of Stabbing and Bludgeoning Boys, 12 and 14, to Death

Harriet Sokmensuer
·2-min read

Putnam County Police (2)

Authorities in Florida are seeking the death penalty for a 30-year-old man accused of brutally murdering two boys with a hammer this summer.

Mark Wilson Jr. faces two counts of first-degree murder in the August 2020 killings of 14-year-old Tayten Baker and 12-year-old Robert Baker, WEAR, First Coast News and WGFL report.

"We believe that the capital felonies or murders were especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel," State Attorney R.J. Larizza said at a virtual news conference Tuesday.

The boys were found dead in their Melrose mobile home on August 26. They had been stabbed with a knife and bludgeoned with a hammer.

"This was truly one of the most horrific crime scenes that [I've] ever seen in my life," Putnam County Sheriff DeLoach said at the news conference.

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Putnam County Jail

According to an arrest report, Wilson and his girlfriend, Cindy -- who was the boys' aunt -- originally planned to kill the entire family, but Cindy never followed through on her part of the plan, First Coast News and Action Jax News report.

Wilson allegedly confessed to the crimes in a recorded meeting with an unnamed witness.

"Mark went on to say he was angry because [the girlfriend] did not follow through after he killed the two boys," the report states.

Wilson and Cindy, who is not facing charges at this time, had been invited by the victims' family to stay on their property because they were homeless.

"We believe that [the crimes] were committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner," Larizza said at the press conference.

A grand jury also indicted Wilson for assault and battery, as well as burglary, on Tuesday.

Attorney information was not available at press time.