Murderer mom to jury: 'I am at peace with your decision'

Murderer mom to jury: 'I am at peace with your decision' »Play Video
Angela McAnulty in court Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011.

EUGENE, Ore. - Angela McAnulty spoke to the eight men and four women charged with deciding whether she should live out her life in prison - or die.

There is a third road: Jurors could vote to send McAnulty to prison for life with the possibility of parole after 30 years for pleading guilty to aggravated murder in the death of her 15-year-old daughter, Jeanette Maples.

"I am very sorry for hurting my daughter in a very bad way," McAnulty herself told the jury Wednesday.

She apologized to the detectives who interrogated her the night after her daughter died.

"I want you to know I did wrong," she told the jury, "and I am at peace with your decision."

Prosecutor JoAnne Miller spent over a half hour recounting the evidence against McAnulty. Witness after witness detailed how unthinkable abuse at McAnulty's hands mutilated, tortured, starved and tortured Jeanette Maples to death.

Maples tried to live. She stole food from the kitchen, she drank water from the toilet, Miller said.

And she slept on cardboard that McAnulty put down to keep blood off the carpet.

"We're not talking about an angry drunk," Miller said. "We are talking about a cool-headed killer."

Defense attorney Ken Hadley offered the jury another way to view McAnulty:

She is not dangerous to society. Her daughter died, but there is no evidence she intended to kill her.

McAnulty grew up in an environment where starvation and beatings were inflicted on children as punishment.

"If anything, I would say this lady would be a victim if she gets to prison," he said.

Deputy DA Erik Hasselman got the last word on why the state seeks the death penalty for McAnulty.

"Can you envision a set of circumstances, a set of atrocities committed by a human being that were worse than what you heard in this case?" he asked the jury. "Did she make any effort to save that child? The answer is no."

"The only person who knows why Angela McAnulty hated her daughter so much is Angela McAnulty," he said. "Whatever your decision is as a group, I agree with the defendant. I am at peace with it."