One of the suspects in the 2006 murder of a Carnation family was back in court Thursday. Arguments had to do with another attempt of throwing out the death penalty. And it focused on a technicality over how the original charges were filed almost six years ago.
Joseph McEnroe is one of two people accused in the killing of six people in Carnation on Christmas in 2007.
An important part of a death penalty case is whether there are mitigating circumstances that would spare the defendant from that punishment.
The defense attorneys are arguing that they are so important that they needed to be pleaded with the original charges, and since that wasn't done the judge should strike the death penalty.
McEnroe's attorney went as far as having him fill out paperwork for a guilty plea for what she called "non-capitol aggravated murder" -- a plea if accepted would allow him to serve life in prison and not face the death penalty.
Prosecutors said not so fast -- the death penalty is still on the table.
“It is the state’s position Mr. McEnroe murdered six human beings. A five-year-old girl was shot in the head and a three-year-old boy was shot. He is not going to be the person who dictates his punishment,” said King County Deputy Prosecutor Scott O’Toole.
All of this means another delay in the case. Jury selection was supposed to start Monday.
Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell will hear arguments on this issue in two weeks.