Florida man Grant Amato, 30, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering his mother Margaret Amato, 61; his father Chad Amato, 59,;and his brother Cody Amato, 31. Prosecutors showed jurors in a trial last month that Grant Amato his relatives over his obsession with a Bulgarian cam girl. In closing arguments at trial, Assistant State Attorney Domenick Leo said that the defendant butted heads with his father and brother in particular. So, why kill mom?
“Because she was there,” Leo said, arguing that Grant Amato ended her life to get at the other two victims. “That’s why.”
The question at sentencing was whether the defendant should be sentenced to death for his actions. A third brother, Jason Amato, sat with the prosecution during the verdict of the first (guilt) phrase of the trial and voiced anger at his brother after the conviction. However, Jason Amato testified for the defense on Monday.
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) August 1, 2019
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) August 12, 2019
Grant Amato and his family had a falling out over Grant stealing $200,000 from his parents and wiring it to the girl in Bulgaria, the prosecution said at a trial. He had been telling the cam girl and his online friends that he was richer than he actually was. Chad and Cody Amato went as far as to have Grant enter a treatment program for internet addiction. He didn’t take the entire thing, but it was enough time for the family to access Grant’s computer and force him to tell the truth to the cam girl and his online friends.
“I think it is safe to say by now that everyone here knows that I made a drastic mistake with Silvie [the cam girl],” Amato wrote, according to prosecutors. “I upset her, made her very sad, and ruined the end of December and beginning of January for her. I won’t go into great detail because that is not the purpose of this message, but I lied to her and you guys from the beginning about myself. I am not a professional gamer, did not own my own house, and did not drive a BMW.”
[Mugshot via Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]