By Jason Geary
Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 11:48 p.m.
BARTOW | Gary Michael Glisson Jr. told detectives that he hadn't been able to eat or sleep in the days following the brutal slaying of a 17-year-old former Haines City High cheerleader.
Jurors watched the taped statement Thursday of the 32-year-old Lake Wales man speaking with detectives Jan. 10, 2007.
"I can't keep lying," Glisson said, according to a transcript.
Glisson admitted that he knew about the plan to rob Angelia "Angel" Headrick and watched her be beaten and stabbed to death. Glisson said he helped get rid of evidence after she was killed.
But he insisted repeatedly that he did not participate in her attack.
"I never touched her," he said.
Glisson faces charges of first-degree murder, robbery, arson and conspiracy to commit robbery and murder. If convicted as charged, he could receive the death penalty.
Prosecutors say Glisson and two other men plotted to rob Headrick, who had been running her boyfriend's drug dealing business while he was in jail.
Last year, a jury found Eric Rodriguez, 23, of Haines City, guilty in Headrick's killing and recommended that he receive the death penalty. Rodriguez's sentencing has not yet taken place.
Prosecutors say Jarvis Mosley, 26, of Lake Wales, also took part in the fatal robbery.
Mosley accepted a plea deal for 15 years in prison, and agreed to testify against Rodriguez and Glisson. Mosley has testified previously that Glisson and Rodriguez attacked Headrick.
But throughout his interview with detectives, Glisson placed the blame for the attack solely on Rodriguez. He said Mosley did not participate in the attack, but Mosley knew about the robbery plan.
The black-and-white video footage was recorded inside an interview room at the Sheriff's Office facility at Bartow Municipal Airport.
Lt. Louis Giampavolo asked Glisson why he didn't try to stop Rodriguez, run away or report the killing.
Glisson said he was scared that Rodriguez would kill him.
He said Rodriguez convinced Headrick that he knew a person who would buy the rest of her drugs.
Headrick agreed to drive Glisson, Rodriguez and Mosley to meet the person. She was instructed to drive to an isolated location on nearby Tower Road.
Rodriguez told Headrick to stop the car, and he pretended to make a telephone call, according to Glisson.
Rodriguez suddenly hit Headrick and she struggled to get out of the car, and Rodriguez climbed over the front seat to go after her, Glisson said.
Rodriguez stabbed her multiple times with a knife, he said.
"I didn't count," Glisson said. "I know it was a lot. He just was stabbing and stabbing."
He recalled the "gargling" noise that the girl made as she fought for her last breaths of air in the middle of the road.
Rodriguez stole a quarter pound of marijuana and half an ounce of cocaine from under the front seat of the car, according to Glisson.
Rodriguez also took about $500 from her pocket, and a couple of gold necklaces and rings from her body, Glisson said. He said he didn't want anything, but accepted $200 from Rodriguez.
Her body was found Jan. 5, 2007, stuffed inside the trunk of her silver 2001 Mitsubishi Galant, which was set on fire in a Babson Park orange grove.
Glisson described in his statement how he set fire to the car and accidentally burned himself. Detectives found burns on Glisson's legs as they questioned him. Jurors reviewed photographs showing the burns.
Testimony is expected to continue Monday when the trial resumes.
Headrick's family, including her grandmother, Lois Headrick, has been attending the trial. Her mother, Tammy Latham, 38, died Jan. 10 of heart failure.
[ Jason Geary can be reached at email@example.com or 863-802-7536. ]