Grant Amato, accused of killing his parents and brother, lavished a Bulgarian webcam model he had met online with gifts and compliments, spending thousands of dollars to send her clothes and sex toys -- which she would model for Amato in provocative, and often sexually explicit, photos and videos.
Evidence records released by the Seminole-Brevard State Attorney's Office on Wednesday provided an intimate look into the relationship between Amato and the model, Silviya Ventsislavova, in the months leading up to the January killings.
The records also reveal that Grant Amato tried to claim benefits from the life insurance policies of his parents, Chad and Margaret Amato. The insurance company, The Standard, denied his request May 7, citing Grant Amato's arrest in connection with his parents' murders.
Authorities say Grant Amato had stolen about $200,000 from family members to fund the online relationship, angering his family and provoking his father to issue an ultimatum: Stop talking to the model, or get out of the house.
Chad Amato's rules for his son were handwritten on two pages of paper, copies of which were included in Wednesday's records release. Grant Amato was given the choice to come back home, move into an apartment or hotel, or join the military.
Among the rules if he was to stay in the family home: Grant Amato was to present a personal recovery plan in writing and get a day job. He was forbidden from using the internet past midnight, watching porn, or contacting Ventsislavova. He was also supposed to pay his family back the $200,000 and personally apologize to them.
As to that condition, his family apparently was not holding out much hope: "We don't expect due to lack of real feelings," someone wrote in parenthesis.
The rules also said the family would no longer support Amato financially: "This is critical as Grant through this past transgression(s) has relied on the knowledge the family would not report him & would cover him. Family relationship abuse beyond trust."
"This is a promise -- you better heed the warning -- it's real," the note continued.
Though Grant Amato initially agreed, his father later found out his son was still talking with Ventisislavova, causing a fight on Jan. 24 at the family's Chuluota home on Sultan Circle.
The next morning, Chad, Margaret and Grant Amato's brother, Cody, were found shot to death in their home. Grant Amato is facing three counts of premeditated first-degree murder. He faces the death penalty if he's convicted.
Included in Wednesday's release were hundreds of photos and videos -- many of them pornographic -- as well as text messages sent between Grant Amato and Ventsislavova. Images stored on Grant Amato's computer ranged from hundreds of memes and anime wallpapers, to documents belonging to Cody Amato, including high school and college assignments dating back to 2005 and an unsigned love poem.
The records also included screenshots of USAA bank transactions, showing more than $1,000 in withdrawals for tokens to use on the adult website where they met.
Screenshots of text conversations between Ventsislavova and Amato show the woman trying to teach Amato Bulgarian: "HaresvaSH mi -- when you want to say 'I like YOU.'"
"Very interesting," Amato responded. "I have to take a screenshot of this so I don't forget."
A spokeswoman for the Seminole County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday said investigators have not interviewed Ventsislavova, whom Amato had also called "Silvie" in other letters.
The images and texts were among nearly 20 gigabytes of data found on a flash drive seized by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office during its investigation, according to Todd Brown, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office. The agency also released various investigative records related to the case, including autopsy reports for Chad, Margaret and Cody Amato.
Also released were videos apparently recorded by Grant Amato during airsoft competitions, which simulate combat between teams armed with guns that fire plastic pellets. In the videos, Amato could repeatedly be heard calling out to a teammate named Cody, though it was unclear whether that person was his brother.
The records also included photos from a trip to Japan Cody Amato and Grant Amato made with a friend in December, showing the group walking through Tokyo's Shinjuku neighborhood and visiting the Kinkaku-ji golden temple in Kyoto.
Amato's lawyers, Jeff Dowdy and Jared Shapiro, have argued that no physical evidence ties their client to the killings. Earlier this month Amato's lawyers filed a motion to suppress all evidence found in the family's home, claiming that it was obtained as a result of an illegal search when the Seminole County Sheriff's Office performed a welfare check and discovered the bodies.
Amato has pleaded not guilty to the killings and is being held in the Seminole County Jail on a $750,000 bond, though he's forbidden from using funds from his parents' estate. His trial is set for July.
Staff writers Jeff Weiner, Tess Sheets and Karina Elwood contributed to this report.
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