This started with Amato’s obsession with the Bulgarian model named Silvie he met on the cam girls’ adult website. He had been infatuated with her after losing his job at a nursing school. Amato sends her money to buy sex toys and use them during the video call.
Amato started stealing money from his family to keep the relationship with the woman and give her the impression that he was wealthy and successful. Amato’s family initially attempted to obtain him professional aid. They soon became tired of the lies and thieving. They issued him an ultimatum: either stop communicating with Silvie or leave.
Prosecutors said that Amato killed his mother, father, and brother on January 25, 2019, inside their house in Orlando, Florida. Anyhow, Amato defended his actions even after a Seminole County jury convicted him of first-degree murder and sentenced him to prison.
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Who is Grant Amato?
Grant Amato is Chad and Margaret Amato’s youngest son. Jason, the oldest son, and Cody, the middle son, were also born. While Jason was away, the rest of the family resided in Chuluota, Florida. Growing up, Grant and Cody had always been close. They had both joined their high school weightlifting squad. They were strongly intertwined and even went to nursing school together and afterward to nurse anesthetist school. However, difficulties began to emerge in June 2018, when Grant dropped out of anesthesia school. Although the charges were eventually dropped, Grant was fired after being suspected of stealing medication and incorrectly administering medication to a patient. As a result, he became depressed.
After losing his work, Grant spent excessive time on the internet. He used to play games and live-stream. He eventually met Silvie, a Bulgarian webcam model. Grant would spend hours every night watching Silvie perform through a webcam. It cost 90 “tokens” per minute to watch her; Grant would buy 5,000 tokens for $600 each time.
It wasn’t long before Grant began showering Silvie with presents, including clothes and sex toys. Grant considered Silvie to be his girlfriend. While she did not return these feelings, she did appreciate Grant’s financial generosity. Silvie had no idea it wasn’t Grant’s money she was spending. He was actually taken from his father and siblings. Grant spent $200,000 of his family’s money in three months to fulfill his infatuation with Silvie. He lied to his family, informing them that the money was promoting himself as a gamer on Twitch’s live-streaming website.
Why did Grant Amato Murder his Family?
Amato’s family, frustrated and irritated with his behavior, checked him into a South Florida rehabilitation clinic for patients with sex and computer addictions. Amato’s father gave him a list of guidelines to fulfill when he returned home from the institution in early January 2019: get a job, go to therapy, and avoid communicating with Silvie.
Amato, on the other hand, did not stop talking to Silvie. His father was furious when he found out on January 24. He instructed Amato to collect his possessions and go.
When Cody Amato didn’t show up for work the next day and didn’t answer his phone, his coworkers thought something was wrong. He hadn’t missed a single day of work in the previous five years. They called the cops and asked them to investigate the Amato residence.
“I’m worried something has happened to my friend,” Cody Amato’s coworkers told a dispatcher. “I know my friend’s brother suffers from depression and, I believe, suicidal ideation, and he addressed it to me, and I’m really concerned.”
When Seminole County deputies arrived on January 25, they discovered a gruesome scene. After being shot below the eye, Cody Amato, 31, was found dead on the floor, still wearing his nursing scrubs and with his work lunchbox a few feet away. Margaret Amato, 61, was discovered dead in her workplace chair. Chad Amato, 59, was found dead in his kitchen with two bullet wounds.
Investigators traced and questioned Grant Amato, who stated that his family was still alive when he last saw them.
“No, I didn’t do any of this,” he stated flatly.
The Grant Amato Trial
Amato was arrested for the murders a few days later. Prosecutors claimed he murdered each of his family members before staging the scene to look like a murder-suicide committed by his brother Cody by placing a gun close to him. Chad Amato was also discovered with a revolver in a holster on his right hip, but due to the orientation of the holster, Chad would have had to draw the gun with his left hand. He had the right hand.
At the crime scene, four shell casings were also discovered. Investigators established that neither gun was used in the murders and that the shell cases did not contain bullets that killed the victims. The murder weapon was never found.
Amato’s defense attorneys claimed before his July 2019 trial that prosecutors had failed to show any real evidence linking Amato to the murders and that police had incorrectly processed the crime scene. His lawyers claimed that investigators focused solely on Grant Amato and never considered any other suspicions.
“They are simply reaching for and grasping at nothing,” defense attorney Jeff Dowdy stated.
However, on July 31, 2019, jurors found Amato guilty of the murders. They opposed the death penalty and instead recommended that Amato be sentenced to life in prison without parole.