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Avalos gets life in prison for killing Bradenton neighbor, pastor

Andres "Andy" Avalos has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor. 

[File photo from Manatee County Sheriff's Office]
Andres "Andy" Avalos has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor. [File photo from Manatee County Sheriff's Office]
Published May 23, 2017

BRADENTON — A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor.

Andres Avalos Jr. faced execution. The Bradenton Herald reports that jurors did not reach a unanimous vote for the death penalty late Monday.

Avalos was convicted Saturday of first-degree murder in the deaths of Denise Potter and the Rev. James "Tripp" Battle III in December 2014. He also was convicted of second-degree murder in his wife's death.

Defense attorneys had argued that Avalos suffered from a delusional disorder and was insane at the time of the killings.

A sentencing hearing for the slaying of Amber Avalos has not been scheduled.

Battle's widow said a life prison sentence for Avalos was "justice." Prosecutors said they believed Avalos' actions warranted the death penalty.