Second-degree murder charges filed against Celebration man accused of killing wife, 3 children, family dog

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The man who investigators say confessed to killing his wife and three children in Celebration pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges Thursday.

Deputies said Anthony Todt confessed to killing his wife, Megan, 42, and their three children, Aleksander, 13, Tyler, 11, and Zoe, 4 -- as well as their family dog, Breezy.

The second-degree charges he currently faces come with a sentence of up to life in prison. Channel 9’s legal expert said it’s possible that the charges get upgraded to first-degree murder, which can carry a death sentence.

READ: Todt family: Documents detail timeline leading up to discovery of bodies in Celebration home

In Florida, first degree means the person intentionally committed premeditated murder. Second degree means there is a lack of evidence to prove premeditation, and shows the person acted with a “morally corrupt or wicked mind” without regard for human life.

Channel 9’s legal expert said first-degree murder is the only charge the state attorney cannot issue on her own.

WATCH: Anthony Todt escorted to jail by Osceola County deputies

He said the second-degree charges are likely only an interim charge until a grand jury can meet on the case.

He said if a grand jury believes Todt should be indicted on first degree charges, those charges will supersede the current charges.

Stay tuned to Eyewitness News for updates.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.