Trial to begin for Chuluota man accused of killing his family

Jury selection set for Grant Amato murder trial

By Jerry Askin - Reporter

CHULUOTA, Fla. - Jury selection begins Monday morning in the high-profile murder trial for Grant Amato.

Prosecutors say Amato, 29, killed his parents and brother inside their Chuluota home back in January. They say it happened after he wired $200,000 of his family's money to an oversees cam-girl he met online.  

Amato maintains that he's innocent. 

Beginning Monday morning, lawyers on both sides try and seat a fair and impartial 12-person jury.

News 6 is getting a better idea from court records of what evidence lawyers could use once testimony in the trial begins.

Body camera video shows Amato crawling out of his hotel room when deputies were searching for him. 

Documents also list potential witnesses who could testify, grades Amato made back in school, and lawyers may also refer to an apology letter Amato sent as proof in their case.

Last month, the defense pushed for Amato to undergo a brain scan before the trial.

"We're trying to show that he's normal, therefore he would have never committed this crime," said Deputy chief public defender Jeff Dowdy. 

News 6 has learned prosecutors can't bring up Amato's jail email password during the trial. A judge said it's irrelevant.

The password he used is a Japanese word that invites humans to die. But, Amato said he chose the password only because he likes Japanese culture.

"I didnt know the actual definition until it was presented to me in this case, but I knew what the character was in the Anime," said Amato at a hearing last month.

We're told jury selection could last up to a week, following by opening statements. News 6 will keep you posted when a jury is seated and the trial begins.

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