A Florida man will spend life behind bars after jurors on Thursday convicted him of killing his wife, their three children and family dog — and then living for weeks with the decomposing remains — due to what prosecutors said were apocalyptic beliefs.
The panel in Kissimmee found Anthony John Todt, 46, guilty on four counts of first-degree murder — for the slayings of his 42-year-old wife Megan, and their kids Zoe, 4, Tyler, 11, and Aleksander, 13 — and one count of animal cruelty, for the killing of the family dog, Breezy.
Todt, a physical therapist originally from Connecticut, had tried to blame his wife for the killings, saying she had committed murder-suicide two years ago inside their Celebration home, just a few miles from Walt Disney World Resort.
Todt also told detectives the family annihilation was a joint plan between he and his wife, that they needed to die at the same time so as to "pass over to the other side together because the apocalypse was coming,” prosecutor Danielle Pinnell said in her opening statement earlier this week.
Prosecutors had already elected not to see the death penalty and Circuit Court Judge Keith Carsten sentenced Todt to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
"You, Anthony John Todt, are a destroyer of worlds," Carsten solemnly said from the bench.
Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies and federal agents went to Todt’s home on Jan. 13, 2020, to serve an arrest warrant against him for alleged insurance fraud. That’s when they made the gruesome discovery, authorities said.
The victims were probably killed in December and Todt lived with their decomposing corpses for weeks, officials said.
Even after his conviction, Todt insisted he had nothing to do with the slayings.
“This was a personal catastrophe in everybody’s life and my family, including myself,” Todt told the court. “I maintain my innocence.”
His attorney and a representative for the Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.
Cynthia Copco, Megan Todt’s aunt and godmother to the children — known to her as Aleksander, "Tyler Bear" and "Princess Zoe" — said she'll never recover from the loss of her loved ones.
"We loved Megan and the kids very, very much and all I have is pictures and memories to hold in my heart," Copco told the court. "And my parents miss them and his parents miss them and our families miss them very, very much."