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Originally published January 26, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 26, 2008 at 12:40 AM

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Decision on death penalty delayed 3 months

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg will have an extra three months to decide whether to seek the death penalty for a woman...

Seattle Times staff reporter

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg will have an extra three months to decide whether to seek the death penalty for a woman and her boyfriend accused of killing six members of the woman's family on Christmas Eve.

Satterberg extended the deadline from Feb. 10 to May 2 "to provide defense attorneys with enough time to submit any mitigating information regarding the defendants," said spokesman Dan Donohoe.

Michele Kristen Anderson and Joseph McEnroe, both 29, each have pleaded not guilty to six counts of aggravated murder. The crime is punishable by either death or life in prison without the possibility of release.

They are accused of fatally shooting Anderson's parents, Wayne, 60, and Judith Anderson, 61; her brother, Scott; his wife, Erica; and the couple's two children, Olivia, 5, and Nathan, 3, inside the elder Andersons' Carnation home.

Police say the slayings apparently stemmed, in part, from a dispute Michele Anderson was having with her brother over money. According to court documents, Michele Anderson told police she was tired "of everybody stepping on her," and she had decided if her family did not start showing her respect by Dec. 24, she would kill them.

The case will be the first in which Satterberg will consider seeking the death penalty. Satterberg was elected in November to succeed longtime prosecutor Norm Maleng, who died last year.

A year ago, Maleng announced his office would seek the death penalty for Conner Schierman, accused of killing his neighbor Olga Milkin, 28; her sister Lyubov Botvina, 24; and Milkin's two sons, Justin, 5, and Andrew, 3, on July 17, 2006. It was the first time King County has sought death for a defendant since Green River killer Gary L. Ridgway, whose case has become a litmus test of sorts for the death penalty in Washington.

Prosecutors gave up on capital punishment in that case in exchange for Ridgway's cooperation; he provided details that helped solve dozens of murder cases. Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated first-degree murder in 2003 and was sentenced to life in prison.

Natalie Singer: 206-464-2704 or nsinger@seattletimes.com

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