Jury begins deliberations in trial of Michele Anderson, charged with killing 6 family members

SEATTLE -- The fate of accused killer Michele Anderson is now the hands of the jury.

Late Wednesday, the King County Superior Court jury began deliberations in the case. Jurors left for the day after about an hour and planned to return Thursday morning to resume deliberations.

During closing arguments Wednesday, Anderson sat quietly for most of the hearing, but as her attorney presented their case, Anderson began to cry.

Anderson’s attorney told the jury that she admitted she killed some of her six family members in their Carnation home on Christmas Eve 2007, but that it wasn’t premeditated and instead was the sudden consequence of a troubled life.

“Father was abusive; Scott, her brother, was abusive; and she went crazy. She suffers from depression and anxiety,” said Colleen O’ Connor, Anderson’s attorney.

Anderson broke down as her attorneys detailed her childhood and sobbed for several minutes as her lawyer spoke about the crime.

”We heard from a sister, who described Michele as a spoiled brat, and described her as someone who lived in her own little world,” added O’Connor.

However, prosecutors painted a much different picture.

“Michele Anderson will be held accountable today in the bright lights of a court of law,” said prosecutor Scott O’Toole.

O’ Toole held up each photo of the Anderson family for the jury and said Anderson laid a careful plan to murder six members of her family, including her parents, her brother and sister-and-law and their two kids.

“She is the reason why this happened. It was her hatred of her family,” added O’ Toole.

Prosecutors have argued that Anderson slaughtered her family because her parents were going to start charging her rent and because she claimed her brother owed her money.

However, Anderson’s attorney argued she was not in a proper state of mind when the crimes occurred.

“This is not, as the prosecution would have you believe, that this is about money and greed,” said O’ Connor.

“All of the evidence cries out, Michele Anderson, is the person who did this and this is pure premediated, cold-blooded murder as you will ever see,” added O’Toole.

Anderson never took the stand at her trial.

The jury now has two choices to consider in this case: One is first-degree aggravated murder, and, if convicted, it could mean Anderson could spend the rest of her life behind bars, because the death penalty in this case was removed some time ago; the other is a lesser charge of second-degree murder, and if convicted on that charge, it could mean that she might be released one day.