When Angela McAnulty spoke to a jury on Thursday she promised them that "I did not want my little girl to die." Strange, considering that she starved, beat, and tortured her 15-year-old daughter Jeanette Maples for years until she died. The abuse and starvation was so bad that when the teenage girl finally collapsed from cardiac arrest, she only weighed 50 pounds.
Instead for years, McAnulty and, to a somewhat lesser extent, her husband Richard McAnulty--Maples' stepfather--systematically starved and beat the girl, while sparing the couple's other two younger children from abuse.
Besides being grossly underweight, when the young girl finally died she had bleeding in her brain from a massive head injury as well as hundreds of other injuries, many of them infected--some all the way to the bone.
Now a jury must decide if she should be put to death for her crimes or spend the rest of her life in prison.
UPDATE: The AP reports that the jury has decided to sentence Angela McAnulty to death.
Maples' stepfather Richard is facing his own trial later this year for his involvement in her death, which according to his testimony, amounted to knowing that the abuse was going on, but doing nothing to stop it.
On the witness stand he described how his wife would deny Maples food and water to the point that she would count items in the refrigerator and keep locks on the cupboards. At one point at least Maples was forced to drink from the toliet in order to survive.
When McAnulty wanted to beat the girl, the husband told the jury that she would take Maples into what she called "the girl's bedroom" and do it there.
To hide her injuries, Maples was forced to wear long sleeved shirts and sweatpants to school.
The night that Maples died, she'd gone into cardiac arrest and McAnulty had frantically called 911. When firefighters found her shirtless in a dimly lit room they didn't believe that she was 15-years-old--she was just too small.
Eugene Fire Captain Sven Wahlroos described in a hearing earlier this month how it was the most tragic call he's ever fielded.
"All I wanted to do was run," he said. "In 18 years, I have never cried about a call. I cried about this call."
In no news reports of the hearing is McAnulty described as shedding similar tears.