Jan. 10, 2008: Michele Anderson pleads not guilty to the murders of six family members; she was later convicted and could be put to death.
Oct. 16: Family of Christmas Eve murder victim Erica Anderson (l-r): Wendy Wheat-McCoy and parents Pam and Tony Mantle.
A Seattle woman for months has insisted that she should be put to death for murdering six of her family members on Christmas Eve.
Since the prosecution decided to seek the death penalty in her case, however, attorneys for Michele Anderson say she has changed her mind and will now fight to keep from becoming the first woman ever to be executed in Washington state, The Seattle Times reported.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg on Thursday announced plans to seek death sentences for Anderson, 30, and her former live-in boyfriend Joseph McEnroe, 29.
Both are accused of fatally shooting Anderson's parents, brother, sister-in-law, 5-year-old niece and 3-year-old nephew, the Times reported.
"The death penalty is this state's ultimate punishment and is to be reserved for our most serious crimes," Satterberg said in a statement. "I believe this is one of those crimes."
Anderson had admitted her guilt and requested death, telling the Times in June, "I want the most severe punishment, which would be the death penalty ... I want to waive my trial."
But defense attorney Stephan R. Illa said that while Anderson prevented her previous defense team from presenting evidence on her behalf, "now that the prosecutor has decided to seek the death sentence, Ms. Anderson and her defense team will fight to save her life," the Times reported.
Illa and Kathryn Ross, an attorney for McEnroe, wouldn’t elaborate but said they believe "mitigating evidence" will save their clients from death row, according to the paper.
If convicted, the defendants have only two sentence options for the six counts of aggravated murder they each face: execution or life in prison with no parole.