MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Jury deliberations started on Friday in the trial of Andres "Andy" Avalos who faces three first-degree murder charges in the deaths of his wife, a neighbor and a pastor.
They deliberated for nearly eight hours before retiring. They will reconvene 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
The victims of the Dec. 4, 2014, shootings: his wife, Amber Avalos, 33, mother of his six kids; his neighbor Denise Potter, 46; and Pastor James “Tripp” Battle. He has pleaded insanity.
Prosecutors, who said they would seek the death penalty, said that Avalos, 36, thought his wife was having an affair with Battle.
During a 51-hour manhunt, Avalos hid in a wooded area at a mobile home park and confessed to a Christian couple. When he left the couple, they called 911 and Avalos surrendered to deputies and later confessed.
State Attorney Ed Brodsky told the the jury in opening statements, “The evidence will demonstrate he acted out of jealousy. These homicides were spun out of his jealous rage suspicion his wife was having an extra AA marital affairs.”
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