A Texas man who killed his daughter in a fit of rage for disrupting his video games has been charged with homicide caused by asphyxiation.
On Dec. 12, 2015, Anthony Michael Sanders, 31, suffocated his daughter, Ellie, while looking after her and his 5-year-old son at the family’s home, reports the Houston Chronicle.
When Sanders' wife came home from an art show around 8:30 p.m., the girl was allegedly sleeping in their bed.
Ellie’s brother tried to wake his sister, but failed. “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,” said police spokesman Sgt. Jason Babcock.
The mother told the boy to leave his sister alone, but Sanders went to check on Ellie and then started yelling for his wife to call 911 because she wasn’t breathing.
Emergency response were called to the home that same evening and Ellie was taken to North Hills Hospital. She died at 10:10 that night.
Officers suspected foul play after seeing severe bruises on the girl’s face and head. She exhibited telltale signs of abuse, including bruising around the eyes, referred to as “raccoon eyes”. Sanders gave no justification for the wounds and the Watauga father was arrested April 15.
“He has no idea what happened,” Babcock said Sanders told authorities after his arrest, according to Star-Telegram. “He just went back there and she wasn’t breathing.”
“Anthony, by his own admission, was the only adult that was in the residence during the time the injuries were inflicted upon his daughter which caused her death,” Detective B. McComis wrote in the affidavit.
Detectives believe that Sanders was infuriated with Ellie for disturbing him as he played computer games. “He’s very involved in computer gaming. …That’s something he did constantly,” said Babcock.
Court records show that in 2011, Sanders was charged with choking Ellie’s mother, whom he later wed, said the Star-Telegram.
Sanders bail was set at $1 million, according to court records. Following the girl’s death, Child Protective Services took custody of her 6-year-old brother.