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Accused Family Annihilator's Defense Can't Fully Suppress His Alleged Confessions At Trial
Anthony Todt's defense sought to keep three of his alleged confessions to killing his family out of his upcoming trial, but were only successful on one.
A Florida man accused of killing his family will only be able to keep one of his three alleged confession out of a court room when he stands trial.
Anthony Todt, 46, is accused of killing his wife and their three children in the Disney-developed community of Celebration, Florida in 2019. He has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of his wife Megan, 42, and their children Alek, 13, Tyler, 11, and Zoey, 4. He also faces an animal cruelty charge for the death of the family dog, Breezy.
As his defense prepares for his trial, scheduled to begin on Monday, they have asked presiding judge Keith Carsten to exclude alleged confessions — three in all — he made about his family’s deaths to law enforcement, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Carsten ruled in a March 15 order that the first interview can indeed be suppressed because the detectives did not fully inform Todt of his Miranda rights before the interview.
“The Miranda warnings recorded on the audio tape were inadequate and incomplete,” Carsten wrote in his ruling, according to the Sentinel. “Regardless of [Todt’s] apparent lack of hesitation to speak with the Detectives, and their lack of coercion or promise, [Todt’s] waiver of his Miranda protection cannot be found to be knowing and voluntary, as he was not afforded a full and complete advisement of his rights.”
Carsten did not, however, side with the defense regarding the other two interviews they want suppressed, claiming that their client was suicidal and had limited capacity because he had overdosed on Benadryl. Carsten ruled that Todt had been read his full Miranda warnings and that those confessions, in which he allegedly admitted to killing his wife and kids, were voluntary.
Todt, who has pleaded not guilty to the slayings, later claimed in a letter to his father that his wife killed their kids before killing herself, the Sentinel reported last year. Notorious family annihilator Chris Watts, who murdered his wife and two daughters in Colorado in 2019, also tried to blame the murders of their children on his wife, but later admitted to killing them all.
The decomposing bodies of his wife and his children, who were all stabbed, were found inside their home in January. The bodies were found when federal agents and deputies went to the house to serve an arrest warrant to Todt, who was already under investigation by the FBI and agents with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for health care fraud.
Todt, who ran his own physical therapy practice with Megan, allegedly billed insurance companies for physical therapy services he never performed, Click Orlando reported. Their practice, Family Physical Therapy in Colchester, Connecticut, was raided a month before the murders and Todt allegedly admitted to falsely billing Medicaid, saying neither his wife nor his employees were aware of the fraud, CNN reported. An eviction notice had also recently filed in a Florida court for the home where the bodies were found, according to NBC Connecticut.