MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Andy Avalos is in a 5th floor courtroom fighting for his life.
Neither side questions he committed the murder the defense is trying to save him from the death penalty. Today we hear from Avalos himself and Melissa and Jerry Hamilton. They are the couple Avalos picked to spend the last two to 3 hours of his life with before his arrest.
The Hamiltons were in their Pine Haven Mobil home practicing church hymns when Avalos walked out of the woods behind their house
Melissa: “He walked up to the back deck of our sliders.”
Jerry: “He was crying.”
Melissa: “He said he heard the songs the one I can only Imagine he felt God was telling him to come to our house we would help him…He said I don't want to scare you but I'm the guy who killed those 3 people…I didn’t panic, but inside, I did. I said I’m so sorry my husband and I will pray for you, I’m so sorry.”
Over the next two to three hours, Avalos explained not how, but why he committed the murders.
Melissa: “He said his wife was cheating on him and wouldn’t admit it that’s why. He said his wife wasn’t helping him with the children and was afraid they were getting into drugs and alcohol.
Avalos spoke about killing their neighbor Denise Potter.
Melissa: “She came over during his fight with his wife and she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and he shot her…She came over killed her because she was feeding drugs to his wife she was a bad person and he was not sorry.”
And finally Pastor James Tripp Battle the man Avalos believed to be his wife’s lover.
Melissa: “I didn’t go there to shoot him once there jacked up on adrenalin shot him.”
Avalos showed remorse when it came to his kids.
Melissa: “He felt terrible about his kids he took their mother, he was devastated he took their mother away from them…he would sob talk then cry…he said he has family coming in out of town ruined Christmas for everybody.
But he would repeatedly say…
Melissa: “He wasn’t sorry about his wife only they took their mother.”
That jealous streak led Avalos to share his suspicions about his wife’s infidelity with taxi cab driver Dustin Woodard…they spied on her one day…found her car…parked at a shopping plaza and waited.
Woodard: ”A blue Chevy Impala drove up his wife got out of the car got into her car and left.”