• Judge allows MRI for Seminole County man accused of killing family

    By: Jeff Levkulich


    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A judge ruled Wednesday that a man accused of killing his mother, father and brother could leave jail so he could undergo a brain scan.

    Attorneys for Grant Amato originally asked for the magnetic resonance imaging scan to determine Amato's mental condition after officials said his motive to kill his brother and parents was a woman he met online for whom Amato allegedly stole more than $200,000 from his family.  

    After he was kicked out of the house, prosecutors say, Amato killed his family members.

    Prosecutors and Amato's defense didn't have issue over the judge granting Amato's leave from the jail for one day under guard of Seminole County sheriff's deputies.

    The information obtained from the MRI will remain under seal until needed by Amato's attorneys.

    Deputy Chief Public Defender Jeff Dowdy said the MRI will most likely come into play if there is a sentencing phase in the case, but wouldn't rule out if they would use the information at trial. 

    The judge ruled that the deputies who initially arrived at the Chuluota home and discovered the bodies did not illegally search the home, so all evidence found at the scene will be allowed at trial.

    Several other motions, including references to Silvie, the online Bulgarian call girl and how much Amato allegedly paid her, have not yet been ruled upon.

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