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Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Man Accused in Slayings

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Posted at 3:58 AM, Feb 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-19 03:58:00-05

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay area prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing three people.

Assistant State Attorney Art Brown said he sent the death penalty notice to Andy Avalos' attorney on Wednesday.

Avalos is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife, Amber Avalos, neighbor Denise Potter and pastor James "Tripp" Battle.

Brown said that he looked at "aggravating factors" in the crimes when considering the death penalty.

Officials said Avalos killed his wife and neighbor, then shot the pastor at his church. Avalos' wife worked at the church as a Sunday school aide.

His next appearance in Manatee County court is scheduled for April.

The Bradenton Herald (http://goo.gl/TDjtdR) reports that Avalos' attorney declined comment on the case.

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Information from: The Bradenton (Fla.) Herald , http://www.bradenton.com