A man charged with murdering his two-year-old daughter has been cleared after his seven-year-old son admitted he was responsible.
Anthony Michael Sanders, 33, was accused of smothering Ellie Mae Sanders at their home in the Fort Worth suburb of Watauga in December 2015.
Investigators believed Sanders held his hand over her mouth out of anger for her interrupting his computer games while he was taking care of the children.
Anthony Michael Sanders (pictured), 33, was accused of smothering Ellie Mae Sanders at their home in the Fort Worth suburb of Watauga in December 2015
Jailed since April 2016, Sanders denied responsibility. He said he found his daughter not breathing after his son, then five, reported she wouldn’t wake up.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports prosecutors recently learned the boy, now seven, had told his mother that he had hit his sister with a pillow and the pillow was too heavy to remove from the girl’s head.
Sanders was supposed to be put on trial on September 11 but was released on September 13 instead.
His attorney, Tim Moore, said he was ‘elated’ by the move.
But Tarrant County’s district attorney would not clarify what had happened and refused to discuss the matter.
The case reportedly began to crumble in August when Ellie Mae’s mother, Cassie Wright, told prosecutors her son had admitted being responsible for his sister’s death.
According to a Brady disclosure notice, the boy cried as he explained what happened.
‘He was unable to move the pillow,’ the notice states. ‘He said that the pillow was a rectangle and was heavy. It had something zipped inside which made the pillow heavy.’
Prosecutors recently learned Sanders’ son, now seven, had told his mother that he had hit his sister (pictured) with a pillow but the pillow was too heavy to remove from the girl’s head
The boy then said he told his father, who removed the heavy object from the pillow but found Ellie Mae dead.
He did not explain what had happened because he was scared he would get in ‘trouble’, the notice adds.
Also in the notice is a statement by Tarrant County medical examiner’s office explaining that there is ‘enough of a difference in the strength of a five-year-old to overpower a two-year-old’.