SEATTLE — A judge on Thursday sentenced Michele Anderson to life in prison without parole for her role in the murders of six family members on Christmas Eve 2007 during a holiday gathering.
A Seattle jury on March 4 convicted the 37-year-old woman. Anderson was found guilty of six counts of first-degree aggravated murder following a five-week trial in King County Superior Court.
She was given six life sentences for gunning down three generations of her family in Carnation, about 30 miles east of Seattle. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg had initially sought the death penalty against Anderson, but changed his mind last July.
During closing arguments, King County senior deputy prosecutor Scott O’Toole said Anderson was the mastermind behind the murders. He told jurors in opening statements that family members were shot a combined 14 times and the motive for the slayings was “pure, unadulterated greed,” our news partner The Seattle Times reported.
Anderson’s lawyer Colleen O’Connor had argued the deaths weren’t premeditated and that at most Anderson should be found guilty of second-degree murder. Anderson did not take the stand and the defense team rested its case without calling any witnesses.
Anderson’s ex-boyfriend, Joseph McEnroe, is serving six life sentences after he was convicted a year ago of the same killings. He was spared the death penalty after jurors last June were unable to reach a unanimous decision on whether he should be sentenced to death.
Authorities say McEnroe and Anderson first shot her parents, Wayne and Judy Anderson, and dragged the bodies from the home to a backyard shed. The two shot Anderson’s brother, Scott, his wife, Erica, and their two children, 5-year-old Olivia and 3-year-old Nathan, soon after when they arrived for dinner.