Records: Father of Florida man accused of killing family tried to have wife killed in 1980s

Records: Father of Florida man accused of killing family tried to have wife killed in 1980s
Robert Todt was convicted by a jury in 1980 for a murder-to-hire plot. (WFTV.com News Staff)

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The father of the Florida man accused of killing his wife, three children and family dog, also had a history of violence, according to court records dating back 40 years.

Robert Todt was convicted by a jury in 1980 for a murder-to-hire plot.

It bears an eerie parallel to this week, when his son, Anthony Todt, told Osceola County detectives that he killed his wife, three children and family dog at their Celebration home, WFTV reported.

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Alan Rubenstein is now a judge in the same Pennsylvania community where he was an assistant district attorney in 1980, and prosecuted Robert Todt’s case.

He said the Todts appeared to have a picturesque life. Neighbors had great things to say about Robert Todt, who was a special education teacher and wrestling coach at a Pennsylvania high school.

Then, he was arrested for hiring one of his students to kill his wife, Loretta Todt, on March 19, 1980, at their Bensalem home, People reported.

The student, John Chairmonte, pleaded guilty to his involvement, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in 1980.

At the time, Chairmonte was characterized as a “burglar and a drug addict,” the newspaper reported in a Dec. 13, 1980, Inquirer story.

“Who do you expect Bob Todt to hire to kill his wife, Donny Osmond?" Rubenstein told the newspaper.

“A shot was fired right into her skull,” Rubenstein told WFTV on Friday. “It landed through her left eye and blinded her. She should’ve died, but, amazingly, she survived.”

What originally seemed like a home invasion didn’t add up, Rubenstein said.

“Then we did some background checking on (Robert) Todt,” Rubenstein told WFTV. “We found out about his being engaged to this woman while he was married, about his various girlfriends, the fact that he was having a relationship with one of his students.”

When Robert Todt was convicted in 1981, “everybody was wailing, especially his family members and Loretta,” Rubenstein recalled. “The calmest person in the courtroom was Robert Todt.”

Robert Todt served about 10 years in prison. Investigators said Anthony Todt was in the home when his mother was shot. A local newspaper reported he woke up to his mother’s screams.

Many have described Anthony Todt as a loving father and husband, devoted physical therapist and soccer coach to neighborhood kids.

Investigators said they found Anthony Todt’s family’s bodies Monday, but believe Todt killed them weeks earlier. The FBI is also investigating Todt for Medicaid fraud, and records show he was being evicted from their Celebration home.