Defense works to remove death penalty from table
Defense attorneys for the Carnation woman accused of killing six members of her family on Christmas Eve said Friday they are rushing to...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Defense attorneys for the Carnation woman accused of killing six members of her family on Christmas Eve said Friday they are rushing to prepare information, including mental-health records, to try to persuade King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg not to seek the death penalty.
Satterberg has extended the deadline by which he will decide whether to seek the death penalty to May 5.
Yet defense attorneys for Michele Anderson and her boyfriend, Joseph McEnroe, said at a scheduling hearing Friday that even the extended deadline likely won't give them enough time to prepare their arguments. Anderson and McEnroe are each charged with six counts of aggravated murder.
Kevin Dolan, Anderson's attorney, said a comprehensive mitigation packet, which argues against the death penalty, takes at least four to five months to prepare.
"One of the major aspects in mitigation is exploring who the person is and what happened to get them to this point in their life. Do they have problems with abuse in the past? Do they have mental-health issues?" he said Friday after the hearing.
Dolan said Anderson has mental-health problems and is now taking medication. Attorneys for McEnroe declined to comment on their client's potential mitigating factors. Both are being held without bail.
Anderson and McEnroe are accused of fatally shooting Anderson's parents, Wayne, 60, and Judith Anderson, 61; her brother, Scott, and his wife, Erica, both 32; and the couple's two children, Olivia, 5, and Nathan, 3, inside the elder Andersons' Carnation home.
Police say the slayings apparently stemmed, in part, from a dispute Michele Anderson was having with her brother over money. According to court documents, Michele Anderson told police she was tired "of everybody stepping on her," and she had decided if her family did not start showing her respect by Dec. 24, she would kill them.
The case will be the first in which Satterberg, who succeeded longtime prosecutor Norm Maleng, will consider seeking the death penalty.
Anderson and McEnroe appeared in court Friday wearing street clothes and without handcuffs, as ordered previously by a judge. Both answered "yes" to a series of questions from Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James Konat about their consent to extend the death-penalty deadline.
Natalie Singer: 206-464-2704 or email@example.com
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