‘Disney Dad’ Anthony Todt found guilty of murdering his wife and kids and killing family dog
Anthony Todt (46) was sentenced to life in prison without parole
A Florida man has been found guilty of murdering his wife and children and killing their dog at their luxury home near Walt Disney World in 2019.
Anthony Todt, 46, was sentenced to life in prison without parole by a court outside Orlando on Thursday, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
Todt denied the verdict, claiming he was not there the night his family died and that they were “first and foremost in [his] life”.
The judge called him “a destroyer of worlds”.
Prosecutors had alleged that Todt, a therapist from Connecticut dubbed the “Disney Dad” by some reports, formed a murder-suicide pact with his wife so they could enter the afterlife together because they believed “the apocalypse was coming”.
Mr Todt, 46, had been charged with four counts of first-degree murder, and one of animal cruelty, in January 2020 after local sheriff deputies were asked to check on the family by his sister Kellie Ball, she told The Daily Beast.
They found Mr Todt "could barely stand and appeared to be shaking", telling officers he drank Benadryl in an attempted suicide.
The medical examiner found the family was killed by an overdose of Benadryl combined with "unspecified violence"; three of the four had stab wounds. Mr Todt has pleaded not guilty to all counts.
“All we want to know is what happened to our family,” Ms Ball told Daily Beast before the trial.
“I am anxious about the trial, but anxious to finally get answers. Not really about the outcome,” she added. “I’m just ready to hear some actual evidence.”
That evidence will include pictures from the crime scene after defence attorneys failed to keep jurors from seeing the decomposed bodies of his wife Megan Todt, 42, their children Alec, 13, Tyler, 11, and Zoe, 4, and the family’s pet dog Breezy.
Defence attorneys argued that the pictures showed that Mr Todt’s youngest child, Zoe, was clutching a stuffed animal.
"The four deceased victims were in a state of decomposition when police found their bodies. Photographs of the deceased victims are shocking and unduly prejudicial," wrote public defender Peter Schumer in motion to exclude the images.
“I think the fact that you’re showing stuffed rabbit animals is designed solely to elicit sympathy on the part of jurors,” a defence attorney added during the October hearing, according to Law & Crime.
Horror photographs from the rental home where Mr Todt allegedly lived with the remains of his family for weeks also showed a bloody mattress, restraints, and a gun, according to the criminal complaint.
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