Judge rejects request for mistrial over alleged escape plot

Judge rejects request for mistrial over alleged escape plot
A still frame from video shown in court of Richard McAnulty talking to police the night his step-daughter Jeanette Maples died. Cameras have not been allowed to film McAnulty during the sentencing phase of his wife's trial. Angela McAnulty faces a posible death sentence. Richard McAnulty faces murder charges but prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty for his role in the teen's death.

EUGENE, Ore. - Attorneys for a woman facing the death penalty for her daughter's murder asked a judge for a mistrial, claiming prosecutors had cut a deal with the woman's husband not to prosecute him for an escape plot in exchange for his testimony.

Judge Kip Leonard denied the request from attorneys for Angela McAnulty on Thursday morning after an hour and a half of arguments regarding an alleged escape plot involving Richard McAnulty and three other inmates.

Angela McAnulty's lawyers claimed the state promised to not prosecute Richard McAnulty for the alleged plot in exchange for his help in prosecuting McAnulty's wife for the death of 15-year-old Jeanette Maples in December 2009.

A federal inmate reportedly told jail guards that Richard and three others planned to take a guard hostage during a Bible study and use a sock with a bar of soap as a weapon.

They were going to make demands and try to escape from jail. After escaping, court documents show the inmates and their hostages would take a car and find somewhere to hangout "until the heat died down." After that, the group would drive to Mexico.

According to court documents, McAnulty was going to make demands, including to be armed with weapons and seeing his wife. The inmates would take hostages. They would dress the hostages in inmate uniforms so rescuers would not know who was an inmate and who was a jail worker or volunteer. The inmates would put blankets on the windows to block snipers from seeing in.

Deputy Karl Wilkerson testified he interviewed the federal informant before the planned attack.

Wilkerson told prosecutor Erik Hasselman. Hasselman advised him to allow Richard McAnulty to leave his cell and start going to Bible study. Wilkerson said Hasselman told him they would prosecute if they found soap on or near Richard's body.

Deputies stopped Richard en route to Bible study. They searched him and didn't find anything.

Wilkerson told the court that deputies did not find any weapons in Richard's cell. They did find an "escape supply list." It included 12 throwing knives, a pair of flippers, seven mini airtanks and a choke rope.

"It's a long list," Wilkerson said.

The defense asked Richard McAnulty about the plot on Thursday. He invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent to avoid self incrimination.

Hasselman said Richard McAnulty will not face the death penalty, citing they will not be able to prove Richard McAnulty's actions caused Jeanette Maple's death.

Richard McAnulty will resume testifying shortly in the penalty phase of his wife's trial. Hasselman said Angela McAnulty's younger daughter will testify next.

Angela McAnulty pleaded guilty to murdering her daughter on the first day of her criminal trial, switching the proceedings to the penalty phase.

A jury must decide whether McAnulty should spend the rest of her life in prison, have an opportunity for parole after 30 years, or face a death sentence.