Report: man killed wife while child in home

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2014 1:10 PM

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Florida authorities said Monday that a man who was arrested on three counts of second-degree murder hung his wife from a cord, then beat and shot her.

Andy Avalos, 33, is accused of killing his wife, a neighbor and a church pastor.

Authorities in Bradenton said the 4-year-old son of Andy and Amber Avalos was at home when the slayings occurred.

The 33-year-old Avalos was arrested Saturday at a mobile home park in Bradenton. Officials say he killed his wife and a neighbor, Denise Potter, at his home Thursday. Officials say Avalos then went to the church where his wife worked. He first spoke with Joy Battle, the church pastor's wife, who is the office secretary.

Battle said Avalos "was rambling on about how the world was evil," according to the report.

Battle's husband, Pastor James "Tripp" Battle, approached the office and that's when Avalos shot him in the courtyard, the arrest report said. Battle's wife saw him fall to the ground.

The motive for the shootings is unclear, said Manatee Sheriff's officials.

Assistant State Attorney Art Brown said during Avalos' first appearance in court on Sunday that Avalos admitted to killing the three people.

Brown said Monday that his office will review the charges filed by the Sheriff's office.

"The facts will be reviewed by us and we will be making a determination to the appropriate degree of the offense," Brown said, adding that if the office feels there is enough evidence, the charges could change to first-degree murder, which would have to be presented to a grand jury.

Avalos is being held in the Manatee County Jail without bond and has requested a public defender.

The victims leave behind a total of 10 children; the Avaloses have six children, Potter had two and the Battles also had two.