Trial delayed to April for man accused of killing family in Celebration

Anthony Todt faces several counts of capital murder

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – During a court hearing Wednesday, the trial for the man accused of killing his family inside a Celebration home was delayed to April.

Anthony Todt is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of animal cruelty in the January 2020 killings of Megan Todt, 42, and their children, Alek, 13, Tyler, 11, and Zoe, 4. The family’s dog, Breezy, was also killed.

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During a virtual hearing in November, a trial date for Todt was set for Monday, Jan. 24.

The trial was anticipated to be pushed back due to the sudden death of Todt’s lead defense attorney, but during Wednesday’s hearing it was learned another issue was contributing to the delay. The judge met with attorneys to discuss delaying the murder trial and Todt was scheduled to appear from jail by video but was unable to because of a medical issue.

“Considering everything else that is pending, we discussed April 4 as being the most prudent date to set it, that way we can have all of the unresolved issues, resolved,” the judge said.

The judge said jury selection will begin as early as April 4, but another hearing will take place on Jan. 21 to set a firm date.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and federal agents found Todt, a Connecticut-based physical therapist, inside the home alongside his family, who were all dead. Officials at the time were attempting to arrest Todt on health care fraud.

During a court proceeding in October, the defense argued there was no evidence the killings were tied to or related to the federal investigation. However, the prosecution said they only would have mentioned the federal investigation due to the federal agents being present during the time of the arrest.

The prosecution did not object to throwing the federal investigation out, so the judge ruled to dismiss it from the courts.

However, there was still a question of Todt’s mental state during the interviews. There was also the matter of what was said during the initial arrest. The arresting officer took the stand and it was learned that he did not read Todt his full Miranda rights.

Todt has since blamed his wife for the slayings in jailhouse writings.

The judge also ruled Todt can appear in court without handcuffs or chains. The judge did ban the mention of Todt’s last name as the German word for “dead” but will allow the jury to see photos of the victims’ bodies.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.