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    Saturday, November 26, 2022

    Todt found guilty of killing his family

    A Florida jury on Thursday night found former Colchester physical therapist Anthony Todt guilty of killing his wife, three children and family dog in December of 2019.

    The verdict came more than two years after he was arrested and accused of murdering his wife, Megan, and children Alek, Tyler and Zoe, and the family dog, Breezy. After the verdict was announced in the Osceola County Courthouse, Judge Keith Carsten sentenced Todt to four life sentences for the murders as well as the maximum sentence for cruelty to animals.

    From when Todt heard the verdict that declared him guilty on four counts of first-degree murder and one of cruelty to animals to when the court took a 10-minute recess ahead of sentencing — about five minutes — he vigorously shook his head "no" in defiance of the ruling. 

    Before the sentencing, Cindi Kopko, Megan Todt’s aunt, remembered Megan and the kids in remarks delivered to the court. She described Megan as kind, gentle and empathic, and her kids as talented and warm. She said she and the rest of the family miss Megan and the kids every day. Kopko also said she’d warned Megan about Todt’s controlling behavior in the past.

    “He crushed my parents. My mother was the children’s great grandmother,” Kopko said. “My mom is 95 years old and we watched them grow up, and my father is 97 … they loved the kids; they would take Megan and Tony on vacations just like family.”

    Todt was also given an opportunity to speak. He returned to his version of events, saying he was not home the night of the murders, and that Megan’s spiritual beliefs pushed her to develop a plan to kill the kids. Todt’s attorney told him twice not to ramble because it wasn’t helping his case.

     “This was a personal catastrophe in everybody’s life in my family, including myself. I maintain my innocence,” Todt said. “I loved my wife, I loved my children. I was not there the night my children died.” 

    As Judge Keith Carsten delivered Todt’s sentence, he said, “You, Anthony Todt, are a destroyer of worlds,” adding that Todt destroyed the worlds of his children and wife.

    Throughout the criminal justice process, excepting his interviews with police, Todt has maintained his innocence in this matter. He took the stand and testified on Wednesday, facing a cross examination from the state that elicited anger, annoyance and sarcasm from Todt in turns. 

    When questioned by the defense on Wednesday, Todt cried during his responses.

    A lengthy legal process and compounding confusion, as Todt put forth different versions of the events of December 2019 to his family, to The Day and to the court before Thursday, finally came to an end.

    Evidence from the state included Todt’s Jan. 15, 2020 interview with Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives, in which he matter-of-factly describes murdering his children. It also included body camera footage of when law enforcement entered Todt’s home and found his family’s dead bodies on Jan. 13, 2020.

    The state determined that the Todt family was murdered some time between Dec. 14 and 18, 2019. Alek was 13, Tyler, 11, Zoe, 4, and Megan, 42.

    The Todt family murders shook both the Colchester community, where Todt was a well-respected physical therapist and beloved youth soccer coach, and the Celebration community, where Megan homeschooled her children and was known as a friendly neighbor and devoted mother. Anthony and Megan both were raised in Montville and went to Montville High School together.

    Todt has a violent family past, and his relationship with his father is complex; the two were estranged for decades. When Anthony Todt was 4 years old, he was a witness to his mother’s attempted murder in Bensalem, Pa., in 1980, for which his father was convicted and served years in prison.

    s.spinella@theday.com

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