Crime scene investigators describe murder scene to jurors in triple murder trial
Grant Amato accused of killing parents, brother
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Grant Amato, accused of killing his parents and brother, was emotional Wednesday throughout the second day of testimony in his triple murder trial.
Despite trying to hold back tears, Amato, 30, broke down mostly when crime scene investigators showed jurors evidence found inside of his family's home.
Amato has been jailed since shortly after the shooting deaths of his parents and older brother in their Chuluota home, allegedly in a dispute over money he wired to a Bulgarian cam girl he met online.
Jurors saw Amato's parents' and his brother's bodies throughout the home, a bloody backpack, several guns in the home, marijuana and more.
[WARNING: Explicit content may be presented at trial]
Prosecutors maintain that Grant Amato killed his parents and older brother, then staged the scene of a murder-suicide.
"I believe his body had been moved, due to the amount of blood, suspected blood that had been pulled here," crime scene analyst Arthur Rubart said on the stand.
Prosecutors say Amato then transferred money from his deceased father's and brother's bank accounts to send to an online cam girl.
Crime scene investigator Christine Snyder testified that a holster and gun seemingly placed on the hip of Grant's dad's didn't seem right since he's right handed.
"If you're carrying it the way that he has it, and you're right handed, you would have to pull it out awkwardly, point it at yourself then point it at someone else to fire it, which doesn't make any sense," Snyder said.
Snyder said it appears Amato's brother, Cody Amato, was shot as he walking inside the house from the garage. She testified that it doesn't appear that any of the victims were shot at close range.
Crime scene technicians said they didn't find Cody Amato's bank cards in his backpack, though his license and other personal items were inside the bag he was carrying after he got off work the day before his body was found.
Defense attorneys questioned crime scene investigators, asking why more wasn't done the first day to process the scene when investigators first responded.
Rubart explained the process to jurors.
"Since we had developed that our main suspect as living in the house, his fingerprints on there would not be as evidential value," Rubart said.
The defense also said Grant Amato didn't own or have any access to guns at the time of the shooting.
They claim that evidence shows Grant Amato was at a job interview the morning of Jan. 25 when neighbors reported hearing gunshots coming from or near the Amato family home.
Amato has pleaded not guilty in the case. He could face the death penalty if found guilty.
The prosecution will call its fourth witness Thursday morning.
News 6 will be following the trial and will have updates on ClickOrlando.com.
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