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September 12, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Defense wants Supreme Court to reconsider ruling in Carnation slayings

Defense lawyers representing a former couple charged with killing six people in Carnation on Christmas Eve 2007 plan to ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider its recent decision that has reinstated the death penalty as a possible sentence for the accused killers.

Colleen O’Connor, who is representing Michele Anderson, said this morning she and the defense team for co-defendant Joseph McEnroe believe King County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell was correct when he ruled that prosecutors could not seek the death penalty in either case. Ramsdell ruled earlier this year that county Prosecutor Dan Satterberg erroneously considered the strength of the state’s evidence against McEnroe and Anderson when he deciding whether to seek the death penalty.

Satterberg’s office appealed to the Supreme Court. Last week, the high court ruled that it is “of no consequence” that Satterberg weighed the strength of the case in making his decision.  Justices unanimously said that Satterberg considered the appropriate evidence, in the form of the so-called mitigating circumstances, in making his decision.

“We’re disappointed. I thought Judge Ramsdell’s ruling was correct,” O’Connor said, adding that they must file their motion with the Supreme Court by Sept. 25.

Anderson and McEnroe are charged in the slayings of Anderson’s parents, brother, sister-in-law and the younger couple’s two preschool-age children on Dec. 24, 2007. Opening statements are tentatively scheduled for early next year, prosecutors said.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Carnation slayings, death penalty, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office

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