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Texas Man Cleared Of Killing Daughter After Son's Confession

International Business Times logo International Business Times 10/6/2017 Gayathri Anuradha

© Provided by IBT US

Charges of capital murder against a Texas man accused of murdering his two-year-old daughter were dropped after his seven-year-old son admitted causing her death, reports said.

Anthony Michael Sanders was facing the death penalty for allegedly smothering his daughter, Ellie Mae Sanders, at their home in Fort Worth, Texas, in an incident that occurred in 2015.

Investigators had theorized that Sanders held his hand over his daughter’s mouth and suffocated her, possibly upset that she had interrupted him when he was playing games on the computer.

According to prosecutors, Sanders who was jailed since 2016 denied the crime and stated he found his daughter not breathing, when his son reported to him and his wife that his sister was asleep and would not wake up.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram quoting from court documents, said Ellie’s mother, Cassie Wright, told prosecutor Dale Smith that her 7-year-old son had told her that he had caused his younger sister’s death.

A disclosure filed by prosecutors stated: “Cassie Wright said that this was the first time [her son] had told her anything like this. She does not believe [her son] and does not think that what he is telling her makes sense.”

It also mentions that the boy cried when he told them he had rolled the pillow on his sister’s legs and then accidentally rolled it onto her face. However, he was unable to move it because it had something zipped inside which made it very heavy.

Prosecutors dismissed the capital murder case against Sanders and he was released from jail on Sept. 13.

Samantha Jordan, a spokeswoman with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, told Star-Telegram Thursday that the office could not discuss details of the case or its dismissal.

Sanders’ defense attorney, Tim Moore, said his client was “elated” that the charge was dismissed.

“He has denied it from the beginning,” Moore said, adding he did not believe his client will not face any other charges related to Ellie’s injuries at the time of her death.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the girl had bruises all over the body and around her eyes. Blood was also seen behind her ear and two bite marks that seemed to be from an adult were present on her back.

“That’s obviously up to the district attorney’s office,” Moore said. “It’s my understanding that it’s over; there will be no more charges coming out of it.”

According the affidavit, Sanders had been taking care of both his children an entire day on Dec. 12, 2015 beginning about 10 a.m. while his wife was away at an art show when the incident happened.

Sanders provided no explanation for the injuries in an interview with police, said Sgt. Jason Babcock, a police spokesman at the time of the incident.

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