Murder trial: Tackaberry family reliving gruesome nightmare - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Murder trial: Tackaberry family reliving gruesome nightmare

John Tackaberry cried several times testifying in the trial of Wes McGee. John Tackaberry cried several times testifying in the trial of Wes McGee.

By Chuck Weber email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Emotions ran high in a West Palm Beach courtroom Tuesday as a father recalled finding his mother dead and his son stabbed and covered in blood.

John Tackaberry cried several times testifying in the trial of Wes McGee, the second defendant to go on trial for the murder of Tackaberry's mother Jane, and attempted murder of Tackaberry's 6-year-old son, Elijah.

The attack happened at the Tackaberry home in West Palm Beach in August 2006. Jane was beaten and stabbed to death. Elijah suffered cuts to his arms and face and a slash across the throat. He survived.

Last year a different jury convicted Rhonda Norman of the same crimes and recommended the death penalty for her. She now awaits sentencing. Prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty for McGee.

Prosecutors and McGee's lawyers agree, Norman recruited McGee off the street to help her seek revenge against John Tackaberry, her ex-boyfriend.

In opening statements to jurors, however, one of McGee's lawyers, Adrienne Ellis, said while her client was present and did commit a robbery of the Tackaberry home, only Rhonda Norman did the killing and stabbing.

Prosecutor Craig Williams told the jury, though, "When I show you all the physical evidence, you're going to have no doubt, McGee's the guy that butchered those people."

For the Tackaberry family, the trial means reliving their nightmare again. "If people only had an idea how much pain and how hard it is, and how much you want your loved one back," Stephanie Rinzel, daughter of victim Jane Tackaberry, exclaimed after Tuesday's hearing. "And how hard it is to see a child brutally attacked."

Several of McGee's relatives also attended the trial. Lakeisha Nixon, McGee's sister, said, "God, I pray he don't get the death penalty. You did a robbery, then of course, you're going to have to do time. I don't think he killed anybody. He don't have the heart to do that."

Testimony resumes Wednesday.

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