SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Recently released video shows an emotional confrontation between a triple murder suspect and his brother shortly after their mother, father and brother were killed in their Chuluota home.
The video of suspect Grant Amato and his brother Jason Amato was recorded at the Seminole County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 26, one day after Chad Amato, 59, and Margaret Amato, 61, and Cody Amato, 31, were found dead.
Grant Amato was initially identified as a person of interest then arrested on murder charges days later. The video was released Wednesday as Grant Amato was in court asking to be granted bond, which the judge denied.
In the video, Jason Amato grapples with the fact that his mother, father and brother are dead and it seems like his surviving brother is responsible.
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"I want to believe you, Grant, but you're the last person that I could put in that house," Jason Amato says in the video. "I know what's happened over the past six months. I can understand the troubles that you've gone through, but it's hard for me to think that you would break to this point, but who else could I blame?"
Both brothers reference Grant Amato's involvement with a Bulgarian cam girl to whom he wired $200,000 to fuel their pornographic, online relationship, according to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. Deputies said Grant Amato stole that money from his family, which led to a rift in their relationship.
Jason Amato asks why his brother continued to talk to the woman despite his family telling him that he would be kicked out of the house if he continued the online relationship.
"I don't know apart from just, like, that feeling when you care about somebody, when you've been with them for how many months," Grant Amato says.
Still, Grant Amato insists that the Bulgarian woman was in no way associated with the crime, but he can't provide an alternate theory as to what happened to the family.
"I don't understand why, I don't understand why it happened. I was taking my steps forward despite everything that I was supposed to do, that I was supposed to be doing," Grant Amato said.
Jason Amato begs for answers.
"I'm sorry, I don't believe you and I probably will have resentment the rest of my life whether you did it or didn't do it, but I need closure. I need to know what happened to my mother, my father and my brother, Cody, because I wasn't there to (expletive) help and that hurts me. That hurts me a lot, man. I may not have been able to stop you, you may have hurt me, too, but at least I would have known what happened," Jason Amato says.
He tells his brother that he's not welcome to stay at his home with him because he felt that it could put his life at risk.
"I don't know what else to say. I'm scared for you and I'm scared for myself and I don't feel comfortable with you being around me alone. I'm sorry," Jason Amato.
He also expressed that he's conflicted because he doesn't want his brother to be sentenced to death.
"Even if you did, it's gonna be so hard for me to figure out what to do with you. You do not deserve jail but I can't come to (expletive) have an attorney press charges for you to be killed," Jason Amato said.
Prosecutors filed a notice to seek the death penalty against Grant Amato on Feb. 14.
"Grant I need you to be honest with me man, I need to have closure and if it doesn't come from your mouth and I have to hear it from an attorney or law enforcement or the news, it's going to be harder for me," Jason Amato says. "And I know if you can take mom and dad and Cody's life it's hard for you to comprehend that my emotions are gonna be that, but it's unbelievably scary, Grant."
Before leaving, Jason Amato tells his brother that he will handle funeral and other arrangements by himself.
"Until I'm given verifiable information that you did not do it, I don't think you have the right to make that decision. You already made the decision on whether or not they can live or not," Jason Amato says. "That's not your job."
The 16-minute video ends with the two men hugging.
"I do love you though, remember that, just like mom, dad and Cody loved you. Nobody loved you any more or any less," Jason Amato says.
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