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Man who killed pregnant St. Pete teen a decade ago sentenced to 40 years in prison

Jacobee Flowers pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Morgan Martin, who was 17 years old and four months pregnant at the time.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Jacobee Flowers, the man who killed St. Petersburg teen Morgan Martin in 2012, was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in prison by a judge in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court. 

Martin was 17 years old in 2012 when she disappeared from home. She was four months pregnant at the time and in a romantic relationship with Flowers. 

Martin's mother Leah said she doesn't forgive Flowers.

"You killed your own child and my child," Leah Martin said. "Forty years wasn't enough, but then again, a million years wouldn't have been enough for me."

On April 12, Flowers, who's now 34, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Back in 2016, he was indicted for Martin's murder.

In court, Martin's mother and Anne Orr, a close family friend, provided victim impact statements to the judge. 

They recall Martin as someone who always wanted to make people smile. 

"I would've been a grandma. She would've been a great mom," Leah Martin said. 

Flowers said in court he was sorry for his actions, but Martin's mother said she doesn't believe him nor does she forgive him.

Emotions ran high from Martin and Flowers' family during court. The judge at times warned family members in attendance to maintain order or risk being thrown out.

Under the terms of the original plea deal, Flowers agreed to help to cooperate and direct law enforcement to Martin's body with the understanding of a 25-year prison sentence if he leads investigators to her. However, if her remains are not found, he could face up to 40 years, according to earlier court documents.

The search for Martin's body took St. Petersburg Police detectives to Pike County, Alabama, on April 4. That's where Flowers claimed he buried Martin's body.

With the help of the Pike County Sheriff's Office and other Alabama law-enforcement authorities, an extensive search took place. However, authorities were unable to find her remains.

At the time, family members of the Florida teen said they were not surprised that her body did not turn up during a search in Alabama. Morgan's mother, Leah Martin, said Flowers can't be trusted. She doesn't believe her daughter's remains are in Alabama.  

In court Thursday, it was revealed that Flowers was again in Alabama earlier this week with investigators who attempted to search once more.

St. Pete Police said the investigation and search for Martin's remains will continue post-sentencing. However, investigators feel they have exhausted all options in the search for Martin in Alabama, according to SPPD Major David Gerardo. 

Investigators will act on any new leads in the search, Gerardo said.

In 2016, a cold case unit was able to connect Flowers to Martin's death using new technology.

Leah Martin said she is grateful for the investigators who've been helping since 2012.

RELATED: Police come up empty-handed in search for 2012 missing teen in Alabama

RELATED: St. Pete police search for the body of missing teen in Alabama

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