Prosecutor: McEnroe ‘baited the trap’ for Anderson family in 2007 Carnation killings

Apr 16, 2015, 6:41 AM | Updated: 6:55 am
Joseph McEnroe is cross-examined Wednesday by King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O'Toole. (Courtroom pool screengrab)
(Courtroom pool screengrab)

He says his former girlfriend was the mastermind, but prosecutors want to prove Joseph McEnroe was an equal partner in killing the Anderson family on Christmas Eve 2007.

During the penalty phase of his trial, a King County jury must decide if McEnroe will face the death penalty for murdering six people.

McEnroe was subdued in court Wednesday, a far cry from his angry, combative answers at the start of cross-examination.

“You know what, f— it. If you want to kill me, go ahead. Kill me. I don’t care,” McEnroe shot back Tuesday at King County Prosecutor Scott O’Toole.

Related: Man convicted of killing 6 snaps at prosecutor

O’Toole chipped away at Joseph McEnroe’s story that Michele Anderson dominated and manipulated him, leaving him no option but to help kill her family.

“You figured when you committed these murders that you’d be dealing with a quote unquote, ‘Podunk police department?'” O’Toole asked.

“That is correct,” McEnroe said, barely above a whisper.

Six weeks before the murders, McEnroe was passed over for a promotion he wanted at his job at Target.

“I was upset about it, yes,” McEnroe admitted.

“And you took it as a sign that your plan should be happening,” O’Toole said.

“That’s what she sold it to me as,” McEnroe answered.

Far from the bullied boyfriend, prosecutors said McEnroe was very willing to go forward with the grisly crime, despite every opportunity to back out.

“You were excited about it, were you not?” O’Toole said.

“Absolutely not,” McEnroe’s voice rose.

O’Toole leaned in as he asked McEnroe about cleaning up the mess after Wayne and Judy’s murders, saying it was McEnroe’s idea to “bait the trap” for for Scott, Erica, and kids, while two bodies were hidden in a shed behind the Anderson’s Carnation home.

McEnroe claimed he’s not trying to excuse any of his actions, simply to explain what happened.

He took time for a speech about his victims’ bravery, calling Scott and Erica “heroes” for trying to save their children during the killing spree.

“Erica, even at the end, she was like, ‘Look, you don’t have to do this,’ still trying to reason with Michele,” McEnroe said.

The jury also heard that Michele Anderson couldn’t load the murder weapons, so McEnroe took care of that and even brought extra ammo.

“I think we’ve established … none of these murders would have happened without you,” said O’Toole.

“Unfortunately, that is completely true, yes,” McEnroe agreed.

Testimony for the penalty phase will continue Thursday. Michele Anderson will be tried separately next year.

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Prosecutor: McEnroe ‘baited the trap’ for Anderson family in 2007 Carnation killings