EUGENE, Ore. — Angela McAnulty pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to aggravated murder in the death of her daughter Jeanette Maples, age 15.
A jury will now decide if McAnulty, 42, should be sentenced to death, life in prison without possibility of parole, or life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
Lane County Circuit Court documents accused Angela and Richard McAnulty of causing Jeanette Maples’ death in December 2009, as a result of neglect and maltreatment, and intentional maiming and torture. Richard McAnulty is still awaiting trial in the death of Maples, who was his stepdaughter, and prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty against him.
State law requires that a jury decide Angela McAnulty’s sentence for aggravated murder. In making its decision, the jury must answer four questions:
(A) Whether the conduct that caused Maples’ death was committed deliberately and with the expectation that death would result;
(B) Whether it is likely that McAnulty would commit acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society;
(C) If raised by the evidence, whether the conduct of McAnulty in killing Maples was unreasonable in response to the provocation, if any, by Maples; and
(D) Whether McAnulty should receive a death sentence.
If the jury answers all four questions “yes”, the judge will order that McAnulty receives the death penalty. If they don’t answer all four questions “yes,” it will be up to the jury to decide if McAnulty is eligible for parole. To do that, 10 jurors must agree that she should be eligible for parole.
McAnulty, who also pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence, did not make a statement to the court when she entered her guilty plea.
Assistant District Attorney Erik Hasselman said McAnulty has not entered into any negotiations or plea agreements with his department. McAnulty pleaded guilty with the understanding that she could receive the maximum sentence in the case, he said.
The sentencing phase of the case could last through the month of February.