HEAT ADVISORY today in Western Washington

Michele Anderson convicted of murder in shooting deaths of 6 family members, faces life in prison

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SEATTLE -- Michele Anderson was convicted Friday of first-degree aggravated murder in the shooting deaths of six members of her family in their Carnation home on Christmas Eve 2007.

She faces life in prison without parole, the only sentence possible under the charge. The death penalty in this case was removed some time ago.

Last year, Anderson's former boyfriend, Joe McEnroe, was convicted of first-degree murder in this case and is serving a life sentence.

The jury in Anderson's trial began deliberations in the case late Wednesday.

During the course of the trial, prosecutors played the audio of an interview Anderson had with police shortly after the bodies were discovered. She first told detectives she and her McEnroe were on their way to Vegas on the night six of her family members were murdered.

But halfway into her two-hour interview with detectives, Anderson broke down and admitted to killing her parents, Wayne and Judy Anderson, her brother Scott, her sister-in-law Erica and their two children, 5-year-old Olivia and 3-year-old Nathan.

“As soon as I shot the gun, I felt so bad, like what the hell have I done? I`m a monster, I turned into a monster. I told Joe to lie to cover up what I did,” Anderson said in the taped confession.

Brewing with anger over money she said was owed her, Anderson says she planned out the Christmas Eve murders for two weeks.

“My brother owes me a lot of money and he refused to pay any back, he knows we`ve been struggling,” Anderson said.

Anderson says they shot her parents first, hiding their bodies in a backyard shed. Then the couple waited for her brother`s family to show up.

“He (her brother) was trying to rip the gun out of my hand while I was shooting him; I shot four shots into Scott with the revolver and two into Erica. I ran out of bullets; that`s why he (McEnroe) shot the kids,” Anderson said.

She says she ordered McEnroe to shoot her niece and nephew. In her desperate attempt to save her kids, Erica tried to call 911.

“She lunged over the couch even though she, she had been shot twice. I don`t know how she did that,” Anderson said.

They grabbed the phone from Erica, turning the gun on the kids.

Anderson says they killed the kids to get rid of witnesses but also because she wanted to spare them from living with the horror they witnessed.

“They were clinging to their mom screaming. I just thought if they saw their parents dead, that they would be scarred for life,” Anderson said.

Anderson showed little emotion in court while listening to her own confession.

During closing arguments Wednesday, Anderson’s attorney told the jury that she admitted she killed some of her six family members, but that it wasn’t premeditated and instead was the sudden consequence of a troubled life.

“Father was abusive; Scott, her brother, was abusive; and she went crazy. She suffers from depression and anxiety,” said Colleen O’ Connor, Anderson’s attorney.

Anderson broke down as her attorneys detailed her childhood and sobbed for several minutes as her lawyer spoke about the crime.

However, prosecutors painted a much different picture.

Prosecutor Scott O’Toole held up each photo of the Anderson family for the jury and said Anderson laid a careful plan to murder six members of her family, including her parents, her brother and sister-and-law and their two kids.

“She is the reason why this happened. It was her hatred of her family,” added O’ Toole.

Prosecutors have 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.

“All of the evidence cries out, Michele Anderson, is the person who did this and this is pure premeditated, cold-blooded murder as you will ever see,” added O’Toole.

Anderson never took the stand at her trial.