BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA)—Andres ‘Andy’ Avalos, the man charged with murdering his wife and two others in December 2014, is set to stand trial.
Jury selection gets underway on Monday for the triple-murder case. Avalos, 36, faces three counts of first-degree murder in the killings of his wife, Amber Avalos, Denise Potter and Rev. James “Tripp” Battle.
Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty if Avalos is convicted, according to the Bradenton Herald.
Court records show Avalos’ may plead insanity, and his attorneys plan to call on doctors to corroborate this claim. They say he suffers from several mental health disorders.
Avalos is accused of hanging his wife, Amber, by a cord in the laundry room. She was later found with multiple gunshot wounds, according to authorities.
Potter, Amber’s business partner and neighbor was also shot multiple times and was with the other victim when her body was found.
Authorities say one of the Avalos’ six children, age four, witnessed the killings.
An arrest warrant released by Manatee County authorities states that Avalos then drove his car across the county, ditched it in a Walmart parking lot and headed to Bayshore Baptist Church where he sat with Joy Battle, the secretary and wife of Rev. Battle for 20 minutes. Joy later told deputies Avalos was “rambling on about how the world was evil.” When her husband came into the office, Avalos walked out and slammed the door. Then Joy heard several gunshots and saw her husband collapse in the church’s courtyard, where he was later pronounced dead.
If convicted, Avalos could face life in prison or the death penalty.
As previously mentioned, jury selection begins on Monday and is expected to take days, according to the Bradenton Herald due to the widespread media attention this case has garnered.
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