A capital murder charge against a Texas father who was accused of killing his 2-year-old daughter was dropped after his 7-year-old reportedly confessed to causing his little sister’s death.
Police accused Anthony Michael Sanders, 33, of suffocating his daughter, Ellie Mae Sanders, on Dec. 12, 2015, while watching her and his then 5-year-old son.
Investigators had theorized that Sanders held his hand over his daughter’s mouth, perhaps because he was upset that the girl had interrupted him as he played computer games, the Star-Telegram reported.
The dad reportedly told Watauga police that he found his daughter unresponsive after his son told him the 2-year-old was asleep and would not wake up.
He was arrested in April 2016 for the alleged murder. After having stayed in Tarrant County Jail since then, awaiting a Sept. 11 trial, the murder charge against Sanders was dropped on Sept. 13 after his son reportedly told the truth about what happened.
He initially told his mother, Cassie Wright, what happened and she then contacted prosecutors.
The 7-year-old reportedly told authorities that he and his sister were playing when he accidentally rolled a “heavy” pillow on her face and could not lift it off, Star-Telegram reported.
He said he then told his dad what happened and his dad unzipped the pillow and took a heavy object out of it, according to the paper. The boy also reportedly told authorities that he told his mother what happened.
He reportedly cried while telling his account to police.
“Cassie Wright said that this was the first time [her son] had told her anything like this,” court documents read. “She does not believe [her son] and does not think that what he is telling her makes sense.”
A medical examiner reportedly told prosecutors that what the 7-year-old said is possible because there is enough “difference in strength” for a 5-year-old to overpower a 2-year-old.