SEATTLE — A man convicted of killing six members of a Carnation, Washington, family has told jurors who will determine his punishment that he didn’t want to do “this awful thing” but added “I did it because I thought I had to.”
Joseph McEnroe recounted his upbringing Thursday as he took the stand in King County Superior Court during the penalty phase of his trial. The jury will decide whether he is sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.
Jurors last week found the 36-year-old man guilty of six counts of first-degree murder with aggravating circumstances.
Prosecutors say McEnroe and his then-girlfriend, Michele Anderson, shot and killed six members of Anderson’s family on Christmas Eve 2007.
McEnroe said he was trying to protect Michele Anderson and added, “I was completely wrong.”
He is scheduled to continue his testimony Monday, then face cross-examination from the prosecutor.