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Victim’s family relieved after Michele Anderson is convicted of first-degree murder

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SEATTLE -- Michele Anderson will spend the rest of her life in prison for killing six members of her family in 2007.

After deliberating for a day and a half, a jury found her guilty Friday on six counts of aggravated murder in the first degree.

Michele Anderson hung her head as she walked into court Friday afternoon, and appeared to show no emotion as the jury’s verdict was read.

“I thought she didn’t pay a lick of attention, I thought she was very uninterested,” said Pam  Mantle, the mother of victim Erica Anderson. “I guess if it was my life and what I was going to be doing for the next 50 years, I’d be a lot more interested.”

Police say Anderson and her then-boyfriend Joseph McEnroe shot and killed her parents, Wayne and Judy Anderson; brother, Scott Anderson; sister-in-law Erica; and their two young children, 5-year-old Olivia and 3-year-old Nathan, at her parents’ home in Carnation on Christmas Eve 2007.

McEnroe was convicted last year, and is currently serving a life sentence.

Since Anderson was found guilty of first-degree aggravated murder, she also faces a sentence of life without parole now.

“Michele Anderson will never, ever leave prison,” prosecutor Scott O’Toole said. “She’ll never walk the streets again. She will live with what’s she done for the rest of her life, times six.”

Anderson did not take the stand during her trial.

Prosecutors argued that Anderson slaughtered her family because her parents were going to start charging her rent and because she claimed her brother owed her money. The defense, on the other hand, argued she had a troubled early life and just snapped.

“It was a real challenge from the beginning because she is severely mentally ill,” defense attorney Colleen O’Connor said.

Erica Anderson’s parents aren’t sure if that’s true. They don’t think Anderson just snapped on the day of the murders.

“I don’t believe that, I’ve never believe that ever,” Pam Mantle said. “She had been planning this for a very long time.”

They’re relieved that she’ll now pay for taking such a big part of their family away.

“This has been a long haul,” said Tony Mantle, Erica Anderson’s father. “It’s been 8 years of we’ll get through this, we’ll get through this, and we’ll get through this. And now, we got through it.”

No official sentencing date has been set yet.