US

Man who said his family had to die before ‘the apocalypse’ found guilty of murdering his wife, 3 children and dog in Florida

A Connecticut physical therapist was convicted Thursday night of killing his wife, three young children and the family dog ​​two years ago in central Florida.

A jury of 12 members convicted Anthony Todt four counts of first degree murder and one count of cruelty to animals. He was charged with killing his wife Megan, 42, and his three children, Zoe, 4; Tyler, 11; and Alek, 13. The family dog, Breezy, was also found dead in the home. Prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty, meaning Todt will receive a mandatory life sentence.

Family-Killed-Florida
Anthony Todt testifies during his trial at the Osceola County Courthouse in Kissimmee, Fla. on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda / AP


Earlier Thursday during closing arguments, Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Pinnell told the jury that Todt, 46, nonchalantly detailed the murders to investigators after he was arrested at the family home in Celebration, a community in close to Walt Disney World. He later claimed he was responsible for his wife, who he believed killed the children and then herself.

“I was covering for my wife,” Todt, 46, told the jury when he took the stand in his defense on Wednesday. “Obviously unsuccessful. I had no idea my children died.”

But Pinnell told jurors that Todt wanted to control the lives of his wife and children.

After his arrest, Todt then told detectives that “everyone had to die to get to the other side together because the apocalypse was coming,” Assistant District Attorney Danielle Pinnell told the Osceola County Courthouse, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The victims were killed sometime after they were last seen in mid-December 2019, prosecutors said. Their decomposing bodies were found wrapped in blankets at home on January 13, 2020. They had stab wounds and toxic amounts of Benadryl in their systems, according to autopsy reports.

Anthony Todt is driven by detectives to a patrol car to be taken to jail in January 2020.

Orlando Sentinel


The defense team argued that the state failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The medical examiner, they said, could not determine whether the children had been suffocated or strangled, and said the stab wounds were likely inflicted after death.

“He came home after the death of his children, his wife was alive but essentially dying and stabbed herself in front of him,” deputy public defender Alesha Smith told jurors.

In a 27-page letter written from Osceola County Jail in 2020, Todt claimed his wife was still alive when he returned home and confessed to killing the children before drinking a bottle of Benadryl and of stabbing himself in the stomach, the Sentinel reported. “At this news, I ran to the bathroom and threw up – I was weak,” Todt wrote.

Smith told jurors that the state “basically picks and chooses when it wants you to believe Mr. Todt and when it doesn’t,” she said.

But in his final words to the jury, Pinnell insisted that “there is no reasonable doubt in this case”.

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