A Florida man convicted of murdering his wife, three children and killing the family’s dog is now appealing his conviction.
Earlier this month, Anthony Todt, 46, was convicted by jurors in Osceola County on four counts of murder in the first degree and one count of animal cruelty for the December 2019 slayings of 42-year-old Megan Todt, 13-year-old Alek Todt, 11-year-old Tyler Todt, 4-year-old Zoe Todt, and their dog Breezy.
On April 22, 2022, Todt’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal of his convictions with Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal, according to court records reviewed by Law&Crime. Multiple documents were filed on the docket but are not publicly available at present.
Todt’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Alesha Smith, in a brief phone call with Law&Crime, said she was not authorized to make any statements on the case or share any documentation “at this time.”
The defendant has been adamant he did not commit the crimes.
“This was a personal catastrophe in everybody’s life in my family, including myself,” he said after victim impact statements were read during the day of his sentencing. “I maintain my innocence.”
“I provided for my wife, did everything I could for my wife,” he continued. “She was progressively sick over the years. There were days which were worse, days which were better. She was kept on a pedestal from me. My kids kept — I did everything for them.”
“I did not do this,” Todt repeated throughout his final statement before the court, reiterating one of his versions of events wherein he claims to have not remembered exactly what happened after he fell down a flight of stairs and then woke up in jail with his family dead.
“A jury has unanimously determined after listening to the evidence that you, Anthony John Todt, are a destroyer of worlds,” Circuit Judge Keith A. Carsten said. The Celebration, Fla. resident was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders and an additional one year in prison over the killing of the dog.
Celebration is a prefabricated, Disney-built community near the company’s Disney World resort just outside of Orlando.
The death penalty was not sought in the case.
The State Attorney’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit filed a court document citing “serious concerns regarding the mental health of the defendant,” according to Daytona Beach, Fla. NBC affiliate WESH.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Todt’s defense attorney plans to contest the trial judge’s decisions on several key points including allowing prosecutors to show jurors photographs of the victims, barring defense attorneys from discussing Todt’s mental health, and allowing jurors to hear Todt’s initial confession.
Todt was found with the decomposing bodies of his family on Jan. 13, 2020, while deputies and federal agents were serving an arrest warrant on federal fraud charges related to his former physical therapy business.
Initially, the defendant told detectives in detail how he methodically murdered each member of his family, some easier than others, before living with their bodies for weeks, occasionally leaving to get food.
Todt would later recant, blaming his late wife for the murders.
“Long story short, she gave them the Benadryl/Tylenol PM pie, separated them, woke up at 11:30 [p.m.], stabbed and then suffocated each one,” he wrote in a letter dated June 19, 2020 and obtained by the Sentinel. “At the news of this I ran to the bathroom and puked — I was weak.”
After each confession, however, the condemned man maintained, he tried and failed to kill himself.
[image screengrab/Law&Crime Network]
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