SANFORD, Fla. – The brother of the man accused of killing three family members in January took the stand Friday morning.
Grant Amato is accused of killing his parents and brother Cody at their home in January.
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Jason Amato got very emotional as he told the jury about talking to his brother after their family was found dead. He said his brother Grant was the last person to see the family alive, and told Jason that he had nothing to do with their death.
Jason Amato also said the family was worried about Grant. He went to live with an aunt in Apopka last December, and he and other family members took turns keeping an eye on Grant Amato in 12-hour shifts.
Investigators believe Grant Amato was feuding with his parents over communications with a call girl in Bulgaria. The family said he had stolen $200,000 from the family to contact her.
Jason Amato testified that he found a contract between his father and brother, presumably rules to allow Grant to stay in the home. They included no contact with the woman, and no post-midnight internet usage. He also had to apologize to his family.
A total of 12 jurors and three alternates were chosen late Monday night. On Tuesday a few jurors were switched out. The jury will be made up of eight women and four men.
After a jury was finalized for a second time, Assistant State Attorney Stewart Stone delivered the prosecution's opening statement, alleging Amato covered up the scene in the Chuluota home to make it look like a murder-suicide.
Amato’s public defender Jared Shapiro argued there was a "complete lack of physical evidence linking Mr. Amato to the deaths of his parents and brother."
The death penalty is on the table if Amato is convicted.
Follow reporter Asher Wildman's updates on the trial below.