Suspect in Carnation killings seeks death penalty

Suspect in Carnation killings seeks death penalty »Play Video
Michele Anderson, second from left, pleaded not guilty to six murder charges on Christmas Eve 2007, in rural Carnation, Wash., at the King County Courthouse, in Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008.
SEATTLE -- The woman accused of killing six members of her family on Christmas Eve 2007 wants to receive the death penalty, and she's seeking help.

Michele Anderson and her then-boyfriend Joseph McEnroe are charged in the shooting deaths of Anderson's parents, Wayne and Judy Anderson; her brother, Scott; his wife, Erica; and their children, 5-year-old Olivia and 3-year-old Nathan. Prosecutors believe long-standing bitterness and a perceived family debt fueled the tragedy.

Anderson pleaded not guilty to six counts of aggravated first-degree murder, but she contacted KOMO News from inside the King County Jail on Wednesday, claiming she wants to die.

Anderson said she wants a private attorney because her public defenders have been fighting the death penalty against her wish.

"They lied to me at the arraignment. They said I wasn't allowed to plead guilty," she said.

Her lawyers have not returned phone call seeking comment.

When asked why she wants the death penalty, Anderson said, "As soon as you just provide me with an attorney to sue these guys, I'll answer all those questions and more. I mean, I want people to know why."

Several minutes later Anderson added, "It's the highest punishment. I'm taking responsibility for my actions."

Anderson also said she is not seeking the punishment because she believes it will somehow save her or justify what she did.

According to prosecutors, Judy Anderson was wrapping presents for her family on Christmas Eve, when gunfire erupted in her living room and her own daughter began a bloodbath that left Anderson and five other members of her family dead.

She ran into the room and saw McEnroe shoot her husband of 38 years, Wayne, prosecutors alleged. Judy started screaming and turned his gun on her. She fell to the floor, not yet dead. McEnroe apologized and shot her again, this time in the head, according to a police affidavit.

After killing her parents, Michele and McEnroe burned some of the evidence in a backyard fire pit, reloaded their weapons and waited for Michele's brother and his family to arrive, according to prosecutors.

When Scott Anderson, 32, walked in the door, he spotted his sister with a gun and charged her, court documents say. Michele and McEnroe allegedly shot him multiple times. Michele then allegedly shot her sister-in-law, Erica, 32, who still managed to climb over a couch and call 911.

According to the affidavit, McEnroe then killed the Andersons' young children, 5-year-old Olivia and 3-year-old Nathan. The pair later confessed to the chilling crime.

During the phone call with KOMO News, Michele once again admitted she committed the murders.

When asked whether she was haunted by the killings, Michele said, "I can't answer any more questions right now."

Michele said she was, and is, of her right mind.

"I've been assessed by three different mental health specialists and they've all said I'm sane and competent," she said.

Michele previously told investigators she was tired of everybody stepping on her and that if they didn't start showing her respect, she would kill them.

Ben Anderson, the grandson of Wayne and Judy, and uncle of the two slain children, has said if the prosecutor asks him, he will say he does not want the death penalty. He said the death penalty is "too easy" and he'd rather the pair spend the rest of their lives in prison.

When asked why anyone would feel sympathetic towards her and want to help her, Michele said, "Well, I didn't ask for sympathy; I just want my rights to not be violated."

At her upcoming hearing, Michele plans to ask for a private attorney who can help her obtain the death penalty.

In another phone call from jail on Thursday, Michele said that she just spoke with her lawyers who told her that they would file motions seeking to withdraw as her legal counsel. 

Previous coverage:

Christmas Eve murder suspect to be evaluated

Mother remembers slain daughter on birthday

Slain Carnation family remembered

Not guilty pleas in Christmas Eve slayings 

No shackles for defendants in Carnation killings

Classmates of slain toddler say goodbye

'Thank God they didn't go there'

Carnation residents gather to honor shooting victims

'I could never forgive what they did'

In Carnation, everybody knows your name

Death penalty a possibility in slayings

Prosecutors: Woman, boyfriend admit killing 6 family members

Daughter, boyfriend arrested in Carnation murders