Florida

Prosecutor: Suspect confessed to Bradenton triple murder

Andres Avalos in court Sunday morning.
Andres Avalos in court Sunday morning. Bradenton Herald

Triple-murder suspect Andres "Andy" Avalos, who was arrested Saturday after two days on the run, has confessed to killing his wife and two other people, a prosecutor said in court Sunday morning.

Avalos, 33, gave a "full confession" to investigators with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, said Assistant State Attorney Art Brown.

In a brief first appearance hearing, Circuit Judge Peter Dubensky ordered that Avalos be held without bond on three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of his wife Amber Avalos, 33; Denise Potter, 46, a neighbor of the couple's family in Northwest Bradenton; and James "Tripp" Battle, lead pastor at Bayshore Baptist Church.

When the judge asked Avalos if he had hired an attorney or if he needed a public defender, Avalos said he had not talked with his family to see if they had hired a lawyer for him. Avalos said that for now, he would go with a public defender.

Sheriff's investigators say Avalos on Thursday afternoon killed the two women at the Avaloses home in the 1200 block of 67th Street Northwest, before going to Bayshore Baptist Church and shooting Battle to death.

After a massive manhunt, deputies arrested Avalos on Saturday at a mobile home park about two blocks from the church.

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