Jury decides life or death for Carnation killer Joe McEnroe

Quick Facts:

  • Joe McEnroe given life in prison for murdering six
  • Victims were members of his girlfriend Michele Anderson's family
  • Carnation killings were Dec. 24, 2007
  • Michele Anderson to face trial later this year

Joseph McEnroe, who killed six members of his girlfriend’s family on Christmas Eve 2007, has been given life in prison.

Some jurors wanted McEnroe to die. Others wanted him to have life in prison. After initial confusion with the verdict, the judge questioned each of the jurors about their position and McEnroe was given to life because the jurors could not agree.

There is not a possibility for parole.

The jury that decided his fate Wednesday was the same jury that convicted him of the killings on March 25.

“This is a deeply personal decision for a lot of people,” juror Trent Stewart told KIRO 7, “and the last four months pushed people to the edge.”

Stewart said he was one of the eight jurors who wanted McEnroe to be put to death. Four jurors wanted McEnroe to get life without the possibility of parole.

The six victims in the Carnation killing were Wayne and Judy Anderson, Scott and Erica Anderson, and their two young children, 5-year-old Olivia and 3-year-old Nathan. Those are all relatives of Michele Anderson, McEnroe’s former girlfriend, whose trail begins later this year.

Pam Mantle, whose daughter and grandchildren were killed, said she and her husband were happy about the verdict “because we don’t ever have to deal with it again.”

“It’ll be probably better for everybody involved to be able to just kind of put the McEnroe part of this case away,” she said.

The costs for the prosecutor’s office in the cases against McEnroe and Michele Anderson totaled $1,231,000 through April. They began work on the case shortly after the victims were found on Dec. 26, 2007.

That total does not include costs for King County Sheriff’s investigators, the state crime lab or multiple public defenders.

McEnroe’s defense attorney Bill Prestia previously argued that the killer was “worthy of life, worthy of mercy.” Prestia claimed there was good in McEnroe and that he should be given a chance at redemption.

Prestia continued to blame Michele Anderson for the murders. He said McEnroe's tough childhood and mental illness should be mitigating factors that merit leniency, and therefore a life sentence.

The prosecution, who showed jurors pictures of some of McEnroe’s victims after they were killed, said death was the appropriate penalty.

"You members of the jury decide, if he gets what he wants or what he deserves," Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O'Toole said last Wednesday.

Jurors began deliberating Thursday, May 7. For a case recap, follow one of the links below:

VIDEO: McEnroe: 'If you want to kill me, go ahead >> kiro.tv/GoAhead
PHOTOS: Anderson family photos, victims >> kiro.tv/AndersonFamilyPhotos
PHOTOS: Carnation murder investigation images >> kiro.tv/CarnationRecreation

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