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January 21, 2015 at 12:31 PM

‘There’s been a murder’: Woman describes discovering Carnation victims

Update at 2:53 p.m.: A King County sheriff’s deputy who responded to Wayne and Judy Anderson’s rural Carnation home after a 911 hang-up call, believed to have been placed by one of the six murder victims, explained to jurors Wednesday why he didn’t go onto the Anderson’s property.

Deputy Ron Harrington said he thought he was responding to a 911 hang-up call placed by someone at a party on Dec. 24, 2007. Harrington and another deputy went to the property and saw the locked and chained gate at the base of a driveway leading up to the Anderson home. The deputies spoke to a nearby property owner who said they hadn’t heard anything coming from the Anderson home.

Deputies did not bypass the gate.

Joesph McEnroe, 36, is on trial for killing six people inside the Anderson home on Dec. 24, 2007. He and his former girlfriend, Michele Anderson will stand trial after him. They both face the death penalty.

Erica Anderson, one of the six victims, is believed to have placed the 911 call that Harrington responded to. On the two-second long call some noise, possibly a faint scream, can be heard before the line is disconnected. The call was played for jurors on Wednesday.

Deputies did not go inside the Anderson home until Dec. 27, 2007, when a friend of Judy Anderson’s dialed 911 after entering the home and discovering the bodies.

Original post: A former Postal Service employee who entered a Carnation home on Dec. 26, 2007, out of concern for her friend and co-worker, Judy Anderson, took the witness stand in Joseph McEnroe’s death-penalty trial on Wednesday.

Linda Thiele told the jury that she was worried when Judy Anderson didn’t show up for work that morning. She said Judy Anderson “was never late” and “never missed a day without you knowing ahead of time.”

Thiele arrived at the home a little after 8 a.m. to find the gate leading to the home locked. Thiele told the jury she parked at the gate and walked to the house. When nobody answered after she rang the bell, she walked into the home.

“I yelled, ‘Judy are you here?’ ” she recalled. “When I looked in I could see there was a man lying on the floor and I thought carbon-monoxide poisoning. When I stepped over the body I could see the body had been shot in the face.”

Thiele told jurors it was the body of Scott Anderson. Nearby were the bodies of his wife, Erica Anderson, and son, 3-year-old Nathan Anderson. Thiele rushed to Wayne and Judy Anderson’s bedroom, picked up a phone and dialed 911.

In the 911 recording, played in court Wednesday, a panting and frantic Thiele can be heard saying to the operator, “Hi, there’s been a murder. I just came up; she works for me.”

When the operator pressed for details, Thiele said, “Oh God, there’s a baby, a man and a woman.”

For what prosecutors say was nearly 30 minutes, Thiele was told to remain on the phone with the 911 operator until King County sheriff’s deputies arrived.

Thiele is expected to continue her testimony Wednesday afternoon.

McEnroe and his former girlfriend, Michele Anderson, are accused of killing six members of Anderson’s family on Christmas Eve 2007 in Carnation. McEnroe and Anderson have each been charged with six counts of aggravated first-degree murder, which is punishable by either life in prison without the possibility of parole, or death.

During opening statements Tuesday in McEnroe’s trial, defense attorney Leo Hamaji argued that McEnroe was coerced by Anderson into taking part in the murders.

Anderson will be tried after McEnroe.

On the day of the slayings, Anderson and McEnroe left  the mobile home where they lived on her parents’ rural property, and entered  the small white house where Wayne and Judy Anderson lived, King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O’Toole said during his opening statement on Tuesday. Shortly after arriving, Anderson shot her father, 60, with a 9-mm handgun and McEnroe shot him with a .357-caliber Magnum handgun, O’Toole said.

McEnroe then shot Judith Anderson, 61, twice, O’Toole said.

McEnroe and Michele Anderson then dragged the bodies to a backyard shed to hide them, O’Toole said.

Soon after, Michele Anderson’s brother, Scott, arrived with his wife, Erica, and two children for a Christmas Eve dinner. McEnroe shot the couple, then shot both children in the head, O’Toole said.

Erica Anderson and her children, Nathan, 3, and Olivia Anderson, 5, were killed because they were potential witnesses, he told jurors.

McEnroe and Michele Anderson were planning to escape to Canada, O’Toole said, when they were arrested after showing up at the crime scene, a wooded property about 3 miles from downtown Carnation.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Carnation slayings, death penalty, Joseph McEnroe

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