BRADENTON (FOX 13) - Jurors for the triple-murder trial of Andres "Andy" Avalos were sequestered until 8:30 Saturday morning after an afternoon and evening of deliberations didn't result in a verdict Friday.
Avalos is accused of murdering three people, including his wife and a local pastor, last year.
This is a verdict that the families of all three victims have been waiting for since December of 2014. For both sides, this is an emotional day. The jury went into deliberations at 12:11 Friday. They were served dinner around 6:30 p.m.
Jurors called the judge back to answer questions about the definition of a depraved mind. Judge Moreland also read them the second-degree murder statute.
Later they asked the judge to be allowed to retire for the night and resume in the morning.
Before jury deliberations began, prosecutors and defense attorneys delivered their closing arguments.
“I ask that you hold him today, finally accountable for what he did in taking those lives," prosecutor Art Brown told the jury in closing arguments. “It was his free will, his choice, nothing else, that brought him to this place today.”
After four days of testimony, Brown points the finger of blame for the loss of three innocent lives at Avalos.
The prosecution says Avalos believed his wife, Amber was being unfaithful and he acted out in a jealous rage when he brutally murdered her and then turned his gun to a neighbor, Denise Potter and Bayshore Baptist pastor, Tripp Battle.
“Ladies and gentleman, there is no need for intellectual gymnastics to understand what happened. He's a jealous guy taking enormous amounts of drugs and alcohol and that is a dangerous mixture of circumstances that doesn't require a mental disorder to result in violence," Brown said.
But Avalos’ attorneys say his jealous rage proves he was in an altered mental state.
They offered expert witnesses showing his brain had abnormal spots that could point to his mental state being altered. The defense says Avalos' mental state made him paranoid and set the stage for all three murders.
“Ladies and gentleman, this is insanity-born by delusion,” defense attorney Andrew Crawford offered in his closing statements. “What Mr. Brown told you is not evidence. It's the state's version of what they think the evidence shows.
If deliberations do not wrap up by 6 p.m. Friday, the jury will go into sequestration and come back Saturday to continue.
If he is found guilty, Avalos could face the death penalty.