Grant Amato trial: Forensics experts testify on digital timeline of events leading to killings

Video: Forensics experts testify on digital timeline of events leading to killings in Amato trial

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — A man accused of killing his parents and brother in their Seminole County home might have tried to wipe his brother’s phone clean the night he was killed, a digital forensics expert testified Monday.

One expert testified Monday that Cody Amato’s phone was plugged into Grant Amato’s computer at 11:42 p.m. Jan. 24.

The defense countered the expert's testimony, calling her a "mind reader" and stating that they believed she was speculating about something that happened outside of her presence.

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Grant Amato is accused of killing his parents, Chad and Margaret Amato, and his brother, Cody Amato, in their Chuluota home in January over a dispute involving a Bulgarian call girl.

On Monday, a pair of digital forensics experts testified on the data and contents of phones and laptops found in the Amato family home. They used the data to reconstruct a timeline of events the day before and the day of the killings.

Jericho Fine, a longtime friend of Grant Amato and Cody Amato, testified that the three of them went on a trip to Japan for much of December, a month before the shootings.

Fine said the brothers loved one another, but he detected some tension between them while traveling, especially when Grant Amato disappeared for two hours.

"He found them at a pachino, a gambling building, using his tablet (and) the Wi-Fi," he said.

Fine said he noticed his Discover card was used to make unauthorized charges.

"One went through but the other two were denied, and they were for MyFreeCam tokens," he said.

Another friend, Blake Turpin, testified Monday that he reported his 9 mm gun and ammunition stolen last month after he cleaned out his closet.

Turpin said the last person who was in that room where the gun was stored was Grant Amato, two weeks before the shooting.

He will continue testimony Tuesday morning.

Last week, jurors heard testimony from Grant Amato’s only surviving brother, Jason Amato.

Jason Amato described the day he remembers being told his parents and his brother, Cody, were murdered in their home. He said he was questioned for hours about the crime scene found in his family’s home and what happened in the month leading up to the killings.

Jason Amato said the last time he saw Cody and Chad Amato was when they met up with Grant Amato to convince him to get help for his addictive behaviors concerning the Bulgarian call girl.

Authorities said Grant Amato had stolen upward of $200,000 from his family to fuel his addiction.