Man guilty of killing wife, 3 kids, pet dog in Florida

Apr 14, 2022, 10:40 AM | Updated: 4:56 pm
Anthony Todt testifies during his trial at the Osceola County Courthouse in Kissimmee, Fla. Wednesd...

Anthony Todt testifies during his trial at the Osceola County Courthouse in Kissimmee, Fla. Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Jurors are deciding the fate of the physical therapist from Connecticut who is accused of killing his wife and three young children two years ago. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel via AP)/

(Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — A physical therapist from Connecticut was convicted Thursday evening of killing his wife, three young children and the family’s dog two years ago in central Florida.

A 12-member jury found Anthony Todt guilty of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of animal cruelty. He was accused of killing his 42-year-old wife Megan, and his three children, Zoe, 4; Tyler, 11; and Alek, 13. The family’s dog, Breezy, was also found dead in the home. Prosecutors weren’t seeking the death penalty, which means Todt will receive a mandatory life sentence.

Earlier Thursday during closing arguments, Assistant State Attorney Danielle Pinnell told the jury that Todt, 46, nonchalantly detailed the killings to investigators after his arrest at the family’s home in Celebration, a community that is located close to Walt Disney World. He later claimed that he took the blame for his wife, who he said had 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, unsuccessfully. I had no clue how my kids died.”

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

After his arrest, Todt told detectives that he and his wife had an agreement to kill their family so they could “pass over” together when the apocalypse — which they thought was imminent — arrived, Pinnell said Thursday, reiterating an assertion she also made in her opening statements.

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 the home on Jan. 13, 2020. They had stab wounds and toxic amounts of Benadryl in their systems, according to autopsy reports.

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

“He came home to his kids being dead, his wife was alive but essentially dying, and stabbed herself in front of him,” Assistant Public Defender Alesha Smith told jurors.

She said the state “is essentially picking and choosing when they want you to believe Mr. Todt and when they don’t,” she said.

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Police in riot gear surround the Arizona Capitol after protesters reached the front of the Arizona ...
Associated Press

Dueling narratives of Arizona protests ended with tear gas

PHOENIX (AP) — Protests outside the Arizona Capitol over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade that ended with a volley of tear gas were variously described Saturday as either peaceful or driven by anarchists intent on destruction. Republican Senate President Karen Fann issued a news release describing it as a thwarted […]
17 hours ago
FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Pr...
Associated Press

WHO panel: Monkeypox not a global emergency ‘at this stage’

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization said the escalating monkeypox outbreak in more than 50 countries should be closely monitored but does not warrant being declared a global health emergency. In a statement Saturday, a WHO emergency committee said many aspects of the outbreak were “unusual” and acknowledged that monkeypox — which is endemic […]
17 hours ago
Emergency personnel look over the sight of a  helicopter that crashed in Blair, W.Va., on Thursday,...
Associated Press

West Virginia helicopter crash victims identified

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Medical examiners in West Virginia have released the names of six people killed in the crash of a Vietnam-era helicopter that gave tour rides. The aircraft crashed Wednesday during its last planned flight at an annual reunion for helicopter enthusiasts in Logan County. All six people aboard were killed. The state’s […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Army private’s plea shelved internet fantasy chat defense

NEW YORK (AP) — An Army private charged with plotting to murder members of his unit overseas with help from a secretive violent anarchist group was planning a defense calling it all an internet fantasy before pleading guilty just before trial, court records show. Plans for the defense of Ethan Phelan Melzer was revealed in […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Jury awards $21M to family of pregnant teen shot by police

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A federal jury awarded $21 million to the family of a pregnant teen who was shot and killed by undercover police officers in Northern California five years ago, attorneys said. Elena Mondragon was a passenger in a BMW pulling out of a Hayward apartment complex when an unmarked van filled […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

LAPD officer who died was beaten in training, mother claims

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police officer who died of neck injuries suffered during training had been beaten by fellow officers in an exercise meant to “simulate a mob,” according to a wrongful-death claim filed against the city by his mother. Houston Tipping, 32, was hurt May 26 at the police academy and […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Man guilty of killing wife, 3 kids, pet dog in Florida