Florida man who killed parents, brother after splurging $200k he stole from them on Bulgarian webcam model gets life in prison
Grant Amato, 30, was spared the death penalty after a jury failed to come to a unanimous decision and will instead be spending his life behind bars
CHULUOTA, FLORIDA: A former Florida nurse who was previously convicted of murdering his parents and his brother over a Bulgarian webcam model he was "obsessed with" was spared the death penalty and will instead spend the rest of his life in prison.
Grant Amato, 30, had previously been found guilty in the deaths of his parents Chad and Margaret, and his brother Cody by a Seminole County jury, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
During his trial, the court had heard of how Amato's issues with his family began after he made contact with Bulgarian webcam model Sylvia Ventsislavova on an adult website last July, a month after he was arrested for stealing propofol from his nursing job.
He then stole over $200,000 from his family members—$60,000 from his brother and $150,000 from his father, which included a loan taken on their home—to buy Ventsislavova lingerie in exchange for seeing her wear or use the items.
When the family found out what he was using the money for, they confronted him and ordered him to get a job to pay them back.
In December 2018, they made him go to a Fort Lauderdale sex addiction rehab clinic and reportedly contacted Ventsislavova to tell her that the 30-year-old wasn't as financially successful as he was claiming.
That move is said to have irked Amato to no end, who would then go on to hatch a plan to kill all of them.
On January 24, just two days after he had gotten out of rehab, Amato spent the whole day at the family's Sultan Circle home with his mother before executing her with his brother's IWI Jericho 941 handgun as she sat at her computer.
With his mother "face-down dead at her computer desk," he waited for his father to come back home from work before executing him as well.
He then waited for Cody before carrying out the third murder.
After killing all three, he tried to stage the crime scene to make it appear that Cody Amato had killed their parents and then himself in a murder-suicide
It was alleged that he wanted her to invite him to Bulgaria, something that could hold credence since he was reportedly found by authorities with his passport in possession.
During closing arguments of the trial last month, Assistant State Attorney Domenick Leo projected images of Ventsislavova on the screen and told the jury, "Grant fell in love with a woman named Silvie. Not only did he fall in love with her, he became obsessed with her – to the point that she's all that mattered."
Leo told the court that Amato spoke to Ventsislavova when "his parents' and brother's bodies [weren't] even cold."
He said the 30-year-old "had to devise a way to get Silvie back" after his family "blew up his spot" by exposing his lies about being financially well-to-do.
On July 31 this past month, the jury found Amato guilty of three counts of first-degree murder.
This past Monday, August 12, the same jury returned to the courthouse to hear additional testimony in the trial's penalty phase.
After three hours of deliberation following the proceedings, the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict regarding whether they should hand down the death penalty to Amato.
So, as per Florida law regarding first-degree murder convictions, he will be spending life in prison.