Pam Mantle is disgusted, angry and stunned.
A ruling Thursday by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell removes the death penalty from consideration in the 2007 Christmas Eve murders of six people in Carnation.
Mantle’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren, 3 and 5 years old, were shot down along with Wayne and Judy Anderson. Michelle Anderson and Joseph McEnroe, her boyfriend, face aggravated murder charges in the case and until Thursday, also faced the death penalty.
“Joseph McEenroe is a killer. He had every opportunity to have this go a different way on Christmas Eve and he did not,” said Mantle. “We’re just devastated.”
Judge Jeffrey Ramsdell ruled that King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg had erred by considering the strength of the evidence in the case when deciding whether to seek the death penalty.
Former prosecuting attorney Steve Fogg says he was amazed when he heard the ruling that removed the death penalty from the case.
“Can it really be that a prosecutor is being penalized for choosing to seek the death penalty only in cases where there is no question about guilt? Can it possibly be that that is a reason NOT to apply the death penalty? That makes no sense to me,” said Fogg.
For Pam Mantle, there is just stunned disbelief and a resolve to stand behind the prosecutor and support his appeal of the judge’s ruling. She understands this could add years to the case, but is hoping someday her grand-kids and daughter’s killers will be put to death.
“My daughter who begged for her life was a threat to them. She begged. She begged for them not to shoot her children and he shot them anyway. Pretty cold,” said Mantle.
Jury selection was scheduled to start next week in Joseph McEnroe’s trial.