Trial set for man accused of killing 3 at home and church

Posted at 6:54 PM, May 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-07 18:54:00-04

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) - A man accused of killing his wife, neighbor and a pastor is set to stand trial in southwest Florida.

Andres Avalos, 36, faces three counts of first-degree murder in the Dec. 4, 2014, deaths of Amber Avalos, Denise Potter and the Rev. James "Tripp" Battle. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in a Manatee County courtroom.

Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty if Avalos is convicted.

The Bradenton Herald reports ( ) that court records show Avalos' defense attorneys plan to claim insanity. The records also show defense attorneys plan to call on doctors to testify that Avalos suffers from several mental health disorders.

Sheriff's office detectives said Avalos killed his wife and Potter at his home before driving to Bayshore Baptist Church, where he shot and killed Battle.