EUGENE, Ore. - The husband of a woman sentenced to die for torturing her teenage daughter to death pleaded guilty to murder by abuse for his role in the girl's death and faces at least 25 years in prison.
McAnulty's husband Richard faced a May trial on aggravated murder charges for his role in the girl's death.
McAnulty pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to murder by abuse. He faces a mandatory life sentence with a chance of parole after 25 years.
Deputy District Attorney Erik Hasselman said in court that Richard just as responsible for Maples' death as Angela.
McAnulty's attorney agreed to the deal but said it's still not fair.He said his client has a low IQ and that this wouldn't have happened had he not met Angela.
In court, McAnulty's beard had grown out and he looked more gray. He was wearing a turqouise jumpsuit. He didn't show any emotion when the deal was read.
Attorneys had been working on a deal for a week.
Prosecutors had previously said Richard McAnulty would not face the death penalty because they cannot prove his actions directly led to the girl's death. In open court, however, prosecutors also made it clear they would not negotiate the plea down to manslaughter.
Testified at wife's sentencing
Richard testified during the sentencing phase of his wife's trial. He told the jury that Angela McAnulty would turn up the TV in the living room to cover up the sound of her beating Maples - and it didn't work.
"You could hear the whips," he testified. "It was horrifying. I didn't know what was going on. Her mom would have her strip naked and whip her."
Richard said the abuse that led to Jeanette's death Dec. 9, 2009, started before Halloween. Richard said the first time he saw Jeanette's injuries, he was scared and didn't know what to do.
"I failed her," he said. "I failed her as a father. I didn't get help for her."
The husband and wife sat only a few paces apart in the courtroom but rarely exchanged glances. Angela looked either straight ahead or talked to her attorney.
Defense alleged deal with Richard McAnulty for his testimony
Angela McAnulty's lawyers unsuccessfully sought a mistrial during their client's sentencing phase, claiming Richard McAnulty had cut a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony.
The defense lawyers didn't claim Richard McAnulty had cut a deal related to the aggravate murder charge. Instead, they suggested prosecutors agreed not to prosecute him for an alleged escape plot in exchange for his testimony.
After an hour and a half of arguments and testimony, the judge denied the request for a mistrial. Prosecutors said no deal had been cut and that instead they lacked enough evidence to prosecute Richard McAnulty on the escape charge.
When questions on the stand about the plot, however, Richard McAnulty invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent to avoid self incrimination.