SEATTLE — In closing arguments in the trial of Joseph McEnroe, the prosecution told the jury Monday that premeditation was behind the murder of three generations of one family in Carnation. The defense said, however, it was mental illness.
“The number of (gun) shots show premeditation,” King County deputy prosecutor Scott O’Toole said of the murder that took place more than seven years ago.
The victims were shot a total of 14 times, he said.
Angry over money, prosecutors say, McEnroe and his then-girlfriend, Michele Anderson, killed her parents, Wayne and Judy Anderson, on Christmas Eve 2007.
But the horrific crime wasn`t over. Prosecutors say the couple waited for Anderson`s brother Scott, his wife, Erica, and their two small children to show up to the home.
“He actually fired bullets into the heads of five of the six victims in this case,” O’Toole said.
McEnroe admitted in confessions to police that he pointed a gun at 5-year-old Olivia as the little girl sought protection from her mother, who had already been shot several times.
“Olivia goes down on the floor face-down next to her mom,” O’Toole said.
McEnroe told detectives he then shot 3-year-old Nathan in the head because he needed to get rid of all the witnesses.
The defense says this case is not about money.
“This case is about two people with extreme impairments and mental illness,” defense attorney Leo Hamaji said.
The defense said Michele Anderson planned the killings and coerced McEnroe to help her.
Michele Anderson's trial will be held separately at a later date.
The defense also reminded jurors their expert witness, a psychologist, said McEnroe didn`t have the mental capacity to stand up to his domineering girlfriend.
The prosecution repeatedly questioned the credibility of that expert, saying his report was full of errors.
“What you do is you pay your expert $80,000 for a final report he issued not even three weeks ago,” O’Toole said.
The jury will start deliberations Tuesday morning.
If convicted of first-degree murder, the state will seek the death penalty against McEnroe.