A Florida man accused of killing two children in September while their mother slept is facing the death penalty.
First Coast News reports that Mark L. Wilson, Jr. is facing two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Tayten Baker, 14, and Robert Baker, 12. On Tuesday, State Attorney R.J. Larizza announced that the death penalty will be sought due to the atrociousness of the crime.
“We believe that the capital felonies or murders were especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel…We believe that they were committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, both children were found murdered inside a common area of the family’s Melrose home, off of Shiloh Road, in August. Investigators found a hammer and a knife inside the residence.
The children’s mother, who said she was asleep with a younger child when the incident happened, woke up to find her boys unresponsive. She called 911 immediately but it was too late. The attack was so brutal and gruesome that both boys were pronounced dead at the scene.
The children’s father, a truck driver, was not at home at the time. Both parents are fully cooperating with investigators.
Within 48 hours of the murders, authorities arrested Wilson, a man well-known to the family.
News4Jax reports that during a recorded conversation between Wilson and an unnamed witness earlier this year, Wilson allegedly said he killed the boys because their family had been “putting stress on him” and threatening to report his own family to the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Wilson allegedly added that the plan was to kill the entire family, including the 4-year-old who was asleep with his mother when his brothers were murdered. Wilson said that his girlfriend, the boys’ aunt, was supposed to kill the family with him, according to the warrant.
Wilson reportedly said he was upset because the aunt said she would kill the mother and the 4-year-old while he killed the two older boys. The aunt did not follow through with her plans, Wilson said.
The victims’ aunt has not been arrested or named a suspect in the case, despite Wilson’s alleged confessions. When investigators questioned her, she denied the allegations and said she would have never hurt her nephews or other family members.
Sheriff Gator DeLoach said the victims and their family had recently moved to Putnam County and allowed Wilson and his girlfriend to live in a shed on their property.
“The Baker family did a lot to help these two individuals and, unfortunately, it ended in the brutal death of Robert and Tayten,” DeLoach said. “We’re grieving, along with the family.”
Last month, DeLoach took to Facebook to express his disdain for the suspected murderer.
“Mark Wilson, the sick monster responsible for Tayten and Robert’s brutal murder was arrested last night. Very quickly detectives honed in on Wilson and immediately established this individual was only a threat to those around him.
Unfortunately, Robert and Tayten were the ones who suffered whatever was going through Wilson’s twisted agenda. As a parent, the murders of Robert and Tayten are an unimaginable loss to a family. I can’t begin to understand the anguish their parents are suffering.”
Wilson has an extensive criminal history, including property crimes and drugs, but no known charges for violent crimes until now. He’s been charged with two counts of murder and remains behind bars without bail.
On Tuesday, a grand jury also indicted Wilson on assault and battery, and burglary charges.
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[Feature Photo: Robert and Tayten Baker/Handout]