TAMPA (FOX 13) - Tampa Police say three people were murdered after an argument erupted over a custody dispute in a Tampa home.
They say Angel Luis Perez shot and killed his girlfriend, his brother-in-law, and his brother-in-law's girlfriend, and that he did it in front of his 3-year-old nephew.
Months later, in February of 2015, the headline was that the state was seeking the death penalty against Perez. But now, months before the trial is set to start, the State Attorneys Office pulls the death penalty off the table.
Hillsborough County Judge Michelle Sisco wanted to make sure the state's decision was final.
"So it's my understanding that the state has withdrawn their notice to seek the death penalty. Is that correct?" asked Judge Sisco.
The prosecutor confirmed.
Hillsborough County Public Defender Michael Peacock says he plans to show Perez is mentally unstable.
"I certainly anticipate this could be a mental health defense. I've advised the state of that fact," said Peacock.
But Judge Sisco appeared surprised this case was even going to trial and let the defendant know it.
"Six to seven months ago the defendant was begging me to let him enter a plea when the defense's position was there was no death penalty in the state of Florida," she said, adding, "through counsel begging to enter a plea to get life."
But now the trial is set to start in late summer and Judge Sisco warned there will be no more delays from either side.
"We are going to trial in August so be ready to go to trial," said Judge Sisco.