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Grant Amato's brother testifies for prosecution in death penalty case

'I love both my brothers,' says only other surviving Amato family member

SANFORD, Fla. – As the triple murder trial against Grant Amato continues, prosecutors questioned Amato's brother -- the only other remaining family member -- about their household dynamic and how they tried to help Amato get his life back on track. 

In the past two days, Amato broke down in the courtroom several times. But as his brother testified, he remained stoic and silent. 

"I loved both my brothers," Jason Amato said as tears streamed down his face. 

Amato is accused of shooting and killing his parents and brother inside their Chuluota home in January. Amato, who pleaded not guilty, could face the death penalty if convicted. 

Amato told investigators his father kicked him out of the family's home after a fight and for sending about $200,000 that he got from his father and brother to an online cam girl in Bulgaria.

"He wasn't allowed to communicate with her anymore," Jason Amato explained. 

Jason Amato also talked about a contract he found in his childhood home after the murders that was hidden in a legal pad of his father's. The handwritten ultimatum, between his dad and his brother, laid out options for Amato to turn his life around. 

"It looks like Grant chose to live at home. The family wouldn't pay any future debts, some rules, no post-midnight internet use, no more all-nighters online, limited TV," Jason Amato read aloud. 

About a month before the murders, Jason Amato described how the father held a family intervention for Grant Amato and eventually took Grant Amato to a clinic in South Florida to get him help and treatment. 

That was the last time Jason Amato saw his father and brother, Cody Amato, alive, and it turned out to be one of the most emotional moments in court. 

After his parents and brother were found dead, Jason Amato remembered when deputies showed up at his work in Maitland. 

"It was pretty scary," he said. "They came into the building, the whole building got shut down. Later, they gave me very general details that there was a woman and two males in their 30s found in the house. I just tried to answer their questions as best as possible." 

Jason Amato also described to the court how he confronted his brother after the rest of the family was found murdered. 

"I only remember him saying he didn't have anything to do with it when I first walked in," he said. 

Jurors also heard from a network engineer at Publix, where Amato is accused of using public Wi-Fi after the murders. Several crime scene analysts were also called to the stand to detail what they found. 

It's not clear at this point if Amato will take the stand in his own defense, but the trial is expected to continue starting Monday morning.

News 6 will be following the trial and will have updates on ClickOrlando.com.


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