Texas father Anthony Michael Sanders was accused of killing his 2-year-old daughter in what police called a “fit of rage.” He has now been cleared of the crime after his 7-year-old son admitted that he accidentally smothered his sister in 2015. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it was only more than a year after Sanders was charged with capital murder in the death of his daughter, Ellie, that prosecutors made a shocking discovery about the case.
Apparently, Sanders’ seven-year-old son admitted that he was playing with his little sister, when he rolled a “heavy” pillow onto the toddler’s face and then could not move it off of her because it was just too heavy to pick up for him. According to court documents that were cited by the newspaper, “He was unable to move the pillow. He said that the pillow was a rectangle and was heavy. It had something inside which made the pillow heavy.”
The boy, who was five at the time, said that he told his mother what had happened a year or two ago but didn’t tell anyone else because he was scared that he would get into big trouble. But the mother told prosecutors that this was actually the first time her young son had told her the story. So what exactly happened that day?
According to police, Sanders was watching the kids on a Saturday in December 2015 while the mother was at an art show. Once she got home at around 8:30 pm, Sanders and his son were in the living room. Ellie was in the bedroom. Shortly after that, police noted that Ellie’s brother went to check on her. Police Sgt. Jason Babcock told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “He tried to wake her up, and she wouldn’t wake up. He went in there and told his parents that she was sleeping and wouldn’t wake up.”
Though on Thursday his charges were dismissed, it totally makes sense why investigators suspected at the time that Sanders was responsible for his daughter’s death. They believe that he pressed his hands over his daughter’s nose and mouth until she died, believing that the toddler could have disrupted him as he played computer games.
Babcock said, “He’s very involved in computer gaming. That’s something he did constantly. She may have interrupted him somehow. His day may have been interrupted”. In addition to that, according to Washington Post, doctors have told police that the toddler had a number of injuries, including petechial hemorrhaging in and around her eyes-commonly caused by asphyxiation.
In addition, according to court documents, the 2-year-old also had a number of bruising around her eyes. Doctors also told police that there was blood behind the girl’s ears that couldn’t have possibly be caused by trauma. But Sanders’ defense attorney Tim Moore said that his client is absolutely “elated” that the charges had been dropped. He told NBC 4 that his client has been denying the crime since the beginning.
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