Florida prosecutors will “no longer be seeking the death penalty” in the capital murder case involving a Connecticut man charged last January in the killings of his wife, three children and the family dog, according to court filings.
A “notice of intention not to seek the death penalty” was filed Monday in the case against Anthony “Tony” Todt, who faces four counts of capital murder and one count of animal cruelty.
In her filing, State Attorney Aramis D. Ayala said “after consideration of the facts and law applicable to this case, including serious concerns regarding the mental health of the defendant, it is not in the best interest of the people of the state of Florida to pursue the death penalty as a potential sentence.”
Todt is charged in the death of his wife, 42-year-old Megan Todt; the couple’s three children, 13-year-old Aleksander, 11-year-old Tyler, 4-year-old Zoe; and their dog, Breezy. Their bodies were found in the family’s Celebration, Fla., home on Jan. 13, 2020.
On Feb. 25, 2020, the state of Florida filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty on all four murder counts if Anthony Todt was convicted.
In Florida, a defendant can face the death penalty for a variety of reasons, including having been previously convicted of another capital felony or if a felony involving the use or threat of violence to a person; the capital felony was considered especially heinous or cruel; the capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a “cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification;” or the victim of the capital felony was particularly vulnerable due to a disability or advanced age, or because the defendant was in a familial or authority position over the victim, the February 2020 court filing said.
The four murder charges against Todt are each labeled as “premeditated” in the court filings on the county’s judicial website.
Todt entered a written plea of not guilty on Feb. 28, 2020. Since then, court filings show, not much has happened in the case. Todt was last in court on the charges on Dec. 16, 2020, and the judge continued the case. He is next expected in court on Feb. 5 for a status hearing.
Before the slayings, the family lived in Florida for a few years, with Anthony Todt traveling to work in Connecticut Mondays through Fridays at his physical therapy business. He would return to Florida on weekends.
Preliminary autopsy documents released last year indicated that Todt’s wife and their three children were in the early stages of decomposition when they were found in their Florida home last January. They had each been stabbed, police said.
Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said last year following Anthony Todt’s arrest that he confessed to killing his wife, kids and the dog. Gibson said authorities believe Todt killed his family sometime in late December 2019.
Police responded to the family’s Reserve Place home in Celebration on Dec. 29, 2019, when a family member asked for a welfare check after not hearing from them for two days.
The deputies checked around the residence, but ultimately did not report anything suspicious and they left. Gibson said it’s possible that when deputies responded to the home that day, the family members and the dog might have already been dead inside.
On Jan. 9, 2020, federal agents working on an investigation involving Anthony Todt, linked to his time in Connecticut, and deputies responded to the Florida home. Again, nothing strange was seen and no contact was made, police said.
Deputies and federal agent again went to the home on Jan. 13, 2020, to serve an arrest warrant for Anthony Todt from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Todt was immediately detained. Authorities doing a safety check of the home found the rest of the Todt family and the dog.