Death penalty out in slaying of Carnation family, judge rules

SEATTLE — A judge says prosecutors can’t seek the death penalty against a man and a woman accused of killing six members of a Carnation family on Christmas Eve 2007.

The Seattle Times reported that Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell ruled Thursday that the King County prosecutor’s office made a mistake in considering the strength of its evidence in deciding to seek the death penalty against Michele Anderson and Joseph McEnroe.

The judge said the strength of the evidence can’t be applied to a death penalty decision because that violates equal protection provisions. The judge said the strength of the evidence can vary from case to case, leading to different results.

The prosecutor’s office said it believes the ruling is wrong and plans to appeal.

Anderson and McEnroe are charged with aggravated murder, accused of killing Anderson’s parents, her brother and sister-in-law and her young niece and nephew.

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