SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — UPDATE: A jury has recommended a sentence of life in prison for Grant Amato, who was convicted of killing his parents and brother.
The sentencing phase is underway for the Seminole County man convicted of killing his parents and brother over a dispute involving a Bulgarian web cam girl.
The state rested its case in the penalty phase against Grant Amato, who was convicted late last month of killing his parents, Chad and Margaret Amato, and his brother Cody Amato.
A jury will either recommend that Grant Amato will receive the death sentence or life in prison.
The state called three witnesses Monday morning who gave impact statements to the jury.
A co-worker of Cody Amato testified that Cody's presence and positive attitude is missed. And Cody's co-worker and girlfriend, Sloan Young, told the jury it's unfair that he will never get to grow old and see friends get married or even see her graduate from school.
Grant Amato’s surviving brother, Jason Amato, offered testimony that brought people sitting in the courtroom, including Grant Amato, to tears.
Jason Amato said what he misses most is being able to speak with his mother.
“It's been 208 days. I really miss her voice. But I am a better person because of my mother,” Jason Amato said.
When asked by Grant Amato’s attorney whether he still loves his brother Grant, despite all that has happened, Jason said yes, he does.
"It's been a tragic year," he said. "Too many tragedies to handle, multiple losses and uncertainty in the future. I'm a proud Amato, and I will rise up stronger than before."
Next on the stand was a psychologist who examined Grant Amato at the jail.
The defense is trying to prove that his actions were not premediated and that he should not be put to death.
But prosecutors told jurors Grant Amato is a cold calculating killer who planned out the attacks on his family well before Jan. 24.
Juror said they are determined to work into Monday evening to decide on what punishment they will recommend.
The jury must find that at least one aggravating factor exists to recommend the death penalty.
© 2020 Cox Media Group