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Angela Darlene McANULTY





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Torture
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 9, 2009
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: October 2, 1968
Victim profile: Jeanette Marie Maples, 15 (her daughter)
Method of murder: Torturing, beating and starving
Location: Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, USA
Status: Pleaded guilty on February 1, 2011. Sentenced to death on February 24, 2011. (The first woman sentenced to die in Oregon since the state brought back the death penalty in 1984)
photo gallery

Angela McAnulty, Eugene woman who killed 15-year-old daughter, lands on new death row

By Les Zaitz - The Oregonian

March 16, 2011

Oregon now has a second death row, a one-cell arrangement housing only the second woman in state history to face execution.

Angela McAnulty, 43, moved into Coffee Creek Correctional Facility last month, sentenced to die for murdering her 15-year-old daughter.

Years of appeals are before her, and she will spend most of that time in a cell that is part of the Wilsonville prison's segregation unit. Prison officials are modifying her cell to make it more like cells in the rest of the prison, adding modest features such as shelving. She'll get out of the cell for exercise, phone calls, and religious and legal services.

The state's original death row is at the Oregon State Penitentiary, where 35 men await execution by lethal injection. The Salem prison has the state's lone execution chamber. If McAnulty is executed, it will be there.

Jeannace J. Freeman was Oregon's first condemned woman, sentenced to death in 1961. She was 20 when she drove to central Oregon with her lover, Gertrude Jackson, and Jackson's two children, a boy and a girl. Freeman killed the boy by throwing him off a cliff into the Crooked River Gorge in central Oregon. Jackson did the same with the girl.

In September 1961, Freeman reported to what was then the Oregon Women's Correctional Center in Salem, awaiting execution by lethal gas. Voters repealed the death penalty on Nov. 3, 1964, and two days later, then-Gov. Mark Hatfield commuted her sentence to life in prison.

She served eight years in Oregon before she was transferred, for reasons lost to history, to a federal prison in Virginia. There, she learned office skills while living in the "Long Termers Cottage." A prison official noted in her file that "she is always pleasant, courteous and cooperative towards staff."

In 1977, she was moved to a federal prison in California, earning parole six years later.

She ended up back in prison in Oregon in 2002, convicted in Lake County of assaulting her former lover and co-defendant. She died of cancer 19 months later at Coffee Creek.

Voters put the death penalty back on the books in 1978 only to have it voided by the Oregon Supreme Court. Voters again approved the death penalty in 1984.

McAnulty, born in California, lost her mother to murder when she was 5. After high school, she traveled with a carnival worker and started using drugs. She had two sons and a daughter in a later marriage, and all were taken by California authorities for neglect and abuse. McAnulty bore another daughter, recovered the daughter taken by state officials, and married a long-haul trucker.

The family moved to Oregon in 2006 after adding a son. On Dec. 9, 2009, McAnulty killed her daughter, Jeanette Maples -- the girl returned to her by California authorities.

In Oregon, prison officials have separate rules for managing death row inmates. Inmates can have only one set of clothes, and can exchange them three times a week. They get one knit cap and a pair of shoes. If they need a coat for outdoor exercise, they have to return it before going back to their cells.

McAnulty eats her meals alone in her cell, allowed to keep only a piece of fruit before returning the tray. She does have access to the prison canteen to buy small items, and she can use the pay phone.

Under the rules, she can exercise indoors at least 40 minutes a day, but that includes shower time. Five times a week, she can exercise in a fenced outdoor yard. She can talk to other inmates through the fence.

She is exempt from the state law that requires inmates to work 40 hours a week. But prison officials said McAnulty may nonetheless get a prison job.

"A work assignment will provide her an opportunity to earn her funds and practice pro-social behavior," said Jana Wong, public information officer at Coffee Creek.


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

February 24, 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."


Jury: Death sentence for mom who tortured teen daughter to death

February 24, 2011

EUGENE, Ore. -- A mother who admitted murdering her teenage daughter by torturing her to death over the course of several years will be the first woman sentenced to die in Oregon since the state brought back the death penalty in 1984.

Angela McAnulty sat and stared after learning the 8 men and 4 women on the jury had condemned her to die for pleading guilty to the aggravated murder of her 15-year-old daughter, Jeanette Maples.

The courtroom was packed, both with people who were part of the trial and judges and the district attorney.

The court appeared to be under extra security compared to the previous 2 1/2 weeks of testimony in the sentencing phase of the murder trial.

The convicted child killer's stoic demeanor upon hearing the verdict contrasts with the crying, wailing figure who didn't want to hear testimony from the paramedics who tried to kindle a spark of life from McAnulty's daughter's savaged body - although she told the jury she was at peace with their decision.

The jury - and McAnulty - sat through hours of videos of police interviews as part of the prosecution's case for death.

McAnulty initially denied doing anything wrong, and later pleaded not guilty.

She changed her plea to guilty on the first day of her criminal trial.


Jury recommends death sentence for Eugene woman who tortured, killed daughter

Associated Press

February 24, 2011

A Lane County Circuit Court jury has decided a Eugene woman should be sentenced to death for torturing and killing her 15-year-old daughter.

KVAL-TV reported jurors reached that decision late Thursday in the case of Angela McAnulty.

She addressed jurors for the first time Wednesday, acknowledging she fatally abused her daughter but adding: "I did not want my little girl to die."

The 42-year-old McAnulty did not take the witness stand, choosing instead to make a personal statement not subject to cross-examination by prosecutors.

McAnulty pleaded guilty to aggravated murder the day her trial was set to open for torturing, beating and starving Jeanette Maples to death in 2009.

The jury had to decide whether she should be sentenced to a death penalty or life in prison.


Angela McAnulty speaks for the first time about the torture death of daughter Jeanette Maples

Associated Press

February 24, 2011

EUGENE -- An Oregon woman convicted of torturing and killing her 15-year-old daughter apologized in a statement to the Eugene jury considering whether to sentence her to death for the murder.

The Register-Guard reported that Angela McAnulty spoke for the first time to the jury on Wednesday, acknowledging she fatally abused her daughter, but adding: "I did not want my little girl to die."

The 42-year-old McAnulty did not take the witness stand, choosing instead to make a personal statement not subject to cross-examination by prosecutors.

McAnulty pleaded guilty to aggravated murder the day her trial was set to open for torturing, beating and starving Jeanette Maples to death in 2009. The jury was set to begin deliberations today on whether McAnulty should be sentenced to death or life in prison.


Defense witnesses describe murderer's childhood

February 23, 2011

EUGENE, Ore. - Angela McAnulty faces the death penalty after pleading guilty to the December 2009 murder of her 15-year-old daughter, Jeanette Maples.

Prosecutors wrapped up more than five days of testimony in the penalty phase of the trial on Tuesday and turned the court over to the defense.

Now the defense is trying to convince the jury to spare McAnulty's life.

McAnulty's brothers Mike and George Feusi testified their mom was murdered when Angela was just five years old.

The case was never solved, but their dad was always the prime suspect. That made living with him terrifying.

"When he got behind you, you were so scared," George Feusi said. "He'd come up behind Mike and he'd hit him so hard."

"We weren't allowed to get food out of the kitchen at all. We knew that," Mike Feusi testified. "We could get water but that was it."

McAnulty cried as her friends took the stand.

Linda Mardis said she met McAnulty at a transitional home for unwed mothers.

"I never saw any type of behavior that would indicate this was in her future," Mardis testified.

Earlier in the day, the defense asked the judge to throw out the death penalty as an option, saying the state did not prove Angela McAnulty would likely reoffend or pose a danger to anyone other than her family.

The judge denied the motion.

The case continues Wednesday.

When the defense rests their case, the court will give the jury instructions and task them with deliberating whether McAnulty get life, life with the possibility of parole after 30 years, or the death sentence.


'I failed her as a father. I didn't get help for her'

February 16, 2010

EUGENE, Ore. - Angela McAnulty would turn up the TV in the living room to cover up the sound of her beating Jeanette Maples, McAnulty's husband Richard told a jury Wednesday.

It didn't work.

"You could hear the whips," he told the jury charged with deciding whether Angela McAnulty will serve 30 years before having a chance for parole, life in prison - or a death sentence.

"It was horrifying. I didn't know what was going on," McAnulty said. "Her mom would have her strip naked and whip her."

Angela McAnulty changed her plea to guilty on the first day of her criminal trial.

Richard McAnulty faces trial in May for the murder of Jeanette, his step-daughter. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty against Richard McAnulty.

Cameras were not allowed to film his testimony Wednesday so as not to affect the outcome of his trial.

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.


'I shouldn't have done any of that stuff that I did'

February 11, 2011

EUGENE, Ore. - Aaron Hoberg went to Sacred Heart Hospital at RiverBend the night of Dec. 9, 2009, and watched as medics and nurses exited Jeanette Maples' hospital room.

"I've never seen medics and nurses like that," the Lane County sheriff's detective told a courtroom Friday.

Hoberg interviewed Lynn McAnulty first, then her son, Richard McAnulty.

He started interviewing Richard's wife Angela McAnulty - Maples' mother - after midnight in the early hours of Dec. 10, 2009, the day after Maples died.

“What do you want to know?" detectives videotaped McAnulty asking. “Does this mean I am getting arrested?"

"No," they told her. "You are here voluntarily.”

Wearing a "High School Musical" sweatshirt, the Angela McAnulty on the videos shown in court Friday was a contrast to the sobbing mother at the defense table.

McAnulty pleaded guilty to murdering her daughter. A jury must now decide whether she should spend her life in prison, get a chance for parole after 30 years - or face the death penalty.

The video of McAnulty's interview provided the court a glimpse of McAnulty's initial attempts to deny she had done anything wrong. She later pleaded not guilty, but changed her plea to guilty at the outset of her criminal trial.

In the video, McAnulty tells the detectives that her two youngest children attended public school but that Maples had been homeschooled.

At first, she denies hurting Jeanette and tells the detectives her husband was in charge of discipline.

The detectives tell her that her husband - and the younger children - told them a different story.

She says she went shopping and that Maples got in an argument with her brother and fell over.

The detectives don't buy the story, pressing her for details

"The reason why she's so skinny honest to God is when she split her lip awhile back," she says. "I did not know exactly how to feed her."

McAnulty tells the detectives that Maples picked at her wounds.

"She kept messing with it, and she's the type of child that messes and messes and messes with stuff," she says.

The detectives probe her story.

"If she was getting skinny, didn't you think you should've taken her to the doctor to get it professionally fixed?

"I took it off and fed her," McAnulty says. "I fed her everyday."

McAnulty blamed the injuries to Maples' mouth on falls.

"Who gives the spankings?" detectives ask.

"My husband," McAnulty answers.

"What does he use?"

"A belt."

"What kind of belt?"

"A belt, just a long belt," McAnulty said. "That's why her side was so messed up because he spanked her on her side."

The detectives suggest otherwise.

"I think we're going to find sticks, rulers and pliers -"

"Pliers?" McAnulty screams. "No pliers!"

Bit by bit, the story begins to crumble.

"Tell me how you got so angry you hit her?" detectives ask.

"I don't know, I just did," she answers. "I just did. I just ..."

Eventually, McAnulty begins to come clean.

"I did wrong," she tells detectives. "I should never have spanked my daughter with a belt. I shouldn't have done that. That was horrible of me. I shouldn't have done any of that stuff that I did. I shouldn't have done hands up. I understand that. I am very sorry. I don't know how I can take it back."

But she stops short of taking responsibility for Maples' death.

"I didn't do the injury on the head. I did not do that," she says. "I know that she probably died because of the injury on her head, through the skull when she fell down. I did not kill my daughter over a spanking. I didn't do that.

"I guess the things she did just got to me," Maples says. "I don't know. Honest to God I don't know. I'm sorry. I am sorry."


Paramedics describe finding girl's lifeless body

February 10, 2012

WARNING: This story contains graphic descriptions of a crime scene involving the death of a teen girl.

EUGENE, Ore. - Firefighters found Jeanette Maples on her back in the dimly lit living room without her shirt on.

"Help my baby," her mother, Angela McAnulty, told the first responders to a 911 call reporting Maples had stopped breathing.

The girl's body looked small for a 15 year old - so small, the fire captain at the scene, Sven Wahlroos, asked Angela McAnulty several times about the girl's age.

Maples had no pulse. Paramedics tried CPR and put a tube into her lungs in an effort to make her breathe.

Angela McAnulty appeared agitated, then quiet, then hysterical. Then she laughed a couple of times.

“I just remember it was an odd response," Wahlroos told the jury weighing whether Angela McAnulty, who pleaded guilty to her daughter's murder, should spend life in prison, have a chance for parole after 30 years - or, as Lane County prosecutors contend, face the death penalty.

“Very odd," Wahlroos told the court, recalling the feeling in the "hair on the back of my neck. I have never had that feeling in 18 years. All I wanted to do was run.”

He called his supervisor. And he called police.

“In 18 years, I have never cried about a call," he said. "I cried about this call.”


Ryan Sheridan was the lead paramedic on scene in December 2009. He met Angela McAnulty in the driveway and told the jury he remembers her talking very fast, saying Maples fell down and last seemed well about an hour before the 911 call.

He doesn't recall Richard McAnulty, Angela's husband, saying a word.

Inside the house off River Road, Sheridan knew something wasn't right when he found Maples, he told the court.

No shirt. Wet hiar. Bruises on her face, and cuts above her eye.

The girl's body was skinny, small and frail, so emaciated, you could see her bones.

"It was a hard call," he said.

Sheridan was there when Maples died in the emergency room.


Dr. Elizabeth Hilton treated Maples when she arrived at the ER.

She could find no signs of life in the girls petite, emaciated body. Doctors pronounced Maples dead at 8:42 p.m.

Dr. Hilton was told Maples had no previous medical problems, but said cuts and wounds on the girl's lips were old - and appeared never to have received any medical care.

The girl's front teeth were broken, and there were severe wounds on her legs and back.

Hilton met with the family, and Angela told the doctor Maples had been eating but had gotten very skinny lately.

The charge nurse asked Angela where Maples went to school.

She told the hospital staff Maples was homeschooled.


Angela McAnulty entered the courtroom sobbing Thursday morning, saying she knew what she did was wrong.

A member of her defense team consoled her.

She continued to cry, wiping away tears with a tissue - and putting her head on the table sobbing during opening arguments about whether she should spend her life in prison or die for the murder of her daughter, Jeanette Maples.

In front of a packed courtroom with deputies and detectives who investigated the case looking on, McAnulty entered the penalty phase of her murder trial, having already admitted causing her daughter's death.

The death penalty phase is expected to last until at least Feb. 27.

McAnulty's husband Richard, who was Maples' step-father, goes to trial in May.

Prosecutor Erik Hasselman said the state would show that, by the time she died on Dec. 9, 2009, Jeanette Maples had suffered for months.

The prosecutor said paramedics thought Maples was already dead when they arrived, even as McAnulty insisted the teen had been fine until just an hour earlier.

The prosecutor said Maples was starved and dehydrated. Her lips and mouther were pulverized from being hit with belts and sticks over a period of months. Her face was disfigured, her head in bandages. On her hip, investigators found a wound where the flesh had been so torn away as to expose the bone.

She had the "appearance of a concentration camp victim," Hasselman said.

The defense team, led by Steve Krasik, chose to wait until the prosecution rests before making an opening statement.


Prosecutors said the evidence will show how Maples died - and that McAnulty was to blame.

Here is how prosecutors described the girl's treatment and history:

Maples was forced to sleep on cardboard in a room with blood spattered on the walls, floor and ceiling.

In the house, investigators found leather belts and torture devices, as well as chunks of Maples' flesh.

"Jeanette was constantly in trouble with her mother," Hasselman said.

McAnulty would take Maples into the "torture room" and turn on the vacuum cleaner to mask the sound so the two younger children wouldn't hear it.

Sometimes, McAnulty would tie Maples up, the prosecutor said.

Sometimes, she would make the girl collect dog feces - then run them in the girl's face and mouth.

The State of California once took Jeanette from her mother but returned her after the birth of a younger child.

In 2002, Angela married Richard McAnulty, and the family moved to Oregon.

At first, Maples attended public school. Teachers were concerned about the girl's treatment at her mother's hands. The school confronted Maples, who told school officials that she was being abused.

Oregon's Department of Human Services visited the home, where Angela McAnulty told child welfare workers that Maples was a compulsive liar.

Maples was left with McAnulty, who took the girl out of school to homeschool he - and to cut off her lifelines to the public, so no friends would see her condition.

Prosecutors said Lynn McAnulty, Richard's mother, was concerned. Angela denied her access to the grandchildren, and Lynn called state child welfare workers repeatedly - the last time just days before Maples died.

The jury will be asked to render a judgment, and the prosecution contends that nothing Maples did to provoke her mother warranted her "slaughter."

The state charges McAnulty caused Maples' death through "intentional maiming and torture," and that the jury should consider imposing the death penalty.

At the end of the testimony, the jury will be asked to consider four questions:

  1. Was McAnulty's conduct that caused Maple's death deliberate?

  2. Is it likely that McAnulty will reoffend?

  3. Did Maples provoke McAnulty?

  4. Should the death sentence be imposed?

If the jury decides "No" to question 4, they face a fifth question:

5. Are there mitigating circumstances that would mean McAnulty should get life with the possibility of parole?

Ten juror must agree yes - and if no, the sentence will be life without parole.


Guilty plea changes jury's job: life in prison - or death penalty?

By KVAL News

February 1, 2011

EUGENE, Ore. - A woman accused of torturing her daughter to death pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to aggravated murder just as a court assembled a jury to hear the case against her.

Now the job for the jury shifts gears: should Angela McAnulty go to prison for life or face the death penalty for the December 2009 death of her daughter, Jeanette Maples.

Once selected, the jury will hear evidence in the case. That could take up to a few weeks to complete.

McAnulty's husband, Richard, is also accused of murder. His trial is set for May. He does not face the death penalty.

Court documents show investigators believe the couple caused Maples' death by "intentionally maiming and torturing" her.

Someone called 911 and reported Maples wasn't breathing at the family home off River Road. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.


Eugene woman pleads guilty to aggravated murder in torture death of 15-year-old daughter Jeanette Maples

Associated Press

February 1, 2011

EUGENE -- An Oregon woman has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in the torture death of her 15-year-old daughter in late 2009.

The Register-Guard reports that 42-year-old Angela McAnulty of Eugene began her trial today by pleading guilty to causing the death of Jeanette Marie Maples by neglect and maltreatment as a result of intentional maiming and torture.

McAnulty also pleaded guilty to destroying or altering physical evidence in the case. A Lane County jury will now decide whether she should face the death penalty.

Her husband, Richard McAnulty, is also charged with aggravated murder in the case. But prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty for him based on their investigation of his role in the case.


Cries for help for Jeanette Maples got no answer

By Susan Goldsmith - The Oregonian

January 2, 2010

EUGENE -- Many in this community were heartbroken last month when they learned that 15-year-old Jeanette Maples was killed, but few were surprised when authorities charged her mother and stepfather with murder.

For three years, people in Jeanette's life tried to get child welfare authorities involved, to no avail. Her step-grandmother, a concerned parent of a friend and educators all called the state Department of Human Services because she was bruised, constantly hungry and said she had been beaten at home.

Though police and prosecutors have released few details about the case, citing an ongoing criminal investigation, Jeanette's relatives, friends and former teachers say she died a horrific death at her Eugene home after being starved and abused for years.

Her mother, Angela McAnulty, 41, and stepfather, Richard McAnulty, 40, have been charged with aggravated murder as a result of "intentional maiming and torture." Both could face the death penalty if convicted, and both have pleaded not guilty.

DHS officials won't comment, because they've convened a critical incident response team review to examine how the agency handled the case. The internal inquiry is expected to wrap up this month.

"The CIRT investigation under way is aggressively reviewing all prior contacts with the family to find out what happened," said Gene Evans, a DHS spokesman.

Jeanette, a quiet, dark-haired girl who sought refuge in books at her school's library, tried unsuccessfully to hide her injuriesduring her middle school years, friends recalled. But many days when she got into her clothes for gym class, friends saw bruises on her abdomen and legs, which she said came from falling.

One classmate, Amber Davis, wouldn't accept Jeanette's explanations about her injuries and pressed her for the truth.

"She told me her mom was abusing her when we were in seventh grade," said Davis, 15, one of Jeanette's closest friends during her years at Cascade Middle School.

Davis told her parents and school officials about Jeanette's bruises in 2007, and they contacted the state's child welfare office in Eugene. Cascade Middle School officials, who didn't want to be identified because of the ongoing investigations, say they contacted the DHS at least twice while Jeanette was a student.

Jeanette's stepgrandmother, Lynn McAnulty, who lives in Leaburg and saw her grandchildren only occasionally, says she twice called child welfare authorities anonymously in six months to report abuse. At the funeral, grieving friends, their parents, teachers and family members said they trusted that social workers would rescue Jeanette, but they never did.

"It's hard to understand. I told. Everybody told, and nothing happened," Davis said.

Jeanette's death follows five years of critical incident reviews into child deaths and serious injuries of youngsters who've had contact with the DHS. Twenty-one reports since 2004 identify a myriad of problems, including a failure to investigate and follow up on cases, inadequate documentation and lack of ongoing assessment.

"This agency cannot hold itself out as protecting children when they repeatedly fail," said David Paul, a Portland attorney who has sued the department on behalf of 10 children. "I am tired of hearing they need new resources. They don't need new regulations or a blue-ribbon panel. What's needed is accountability and public oversight, and it's just not happening."

Signs of trouble

People who know Angela McAnulty, Jeanette's mother, describe her as a high-strung and controlling woman who made little money, once lived in her car, and isolated her children from others.

In Sacramento in 1995, McAnulty lost custody of Jeanette, who was then 1 year old, and the girl's two older brothers because of suspected abuse and neglect. The children's father, Anthony Maples, was in prison for drug offenses and had little contact with his children.

In a phone interview, Anthony Maples said his two sons, Jeanette's brothers, grew up in foster care after they wrote a letter to the family court judge overseeing their case pleading to not be sent back to their mother.

Jeanette spent 5 1/2 years in foster care in Sacramento before she was returned to her mother in 2001, Anthony Maples said.

By that time, Angela McAnulty, who was a cashier at a discount store, had another daughter. Sometime after being reunited with Jeanette, Angela met Richard McAnulty, a truck driver, and the two were married in 2002.

Angela and Richard had a son, and the family moved to Eugene in late 2005, according to Lynn McAnulty, Richard's mother.

Jeanette started at Cascade Middle School in the middle of her sixth-grade year in 2006. Her mother sent her there in ratty sweatpants and an old yellowing T-shirt, and children made fun of her, her friends said.

Despite the teasing about her clothing and appearance, friends said, Jeanette loved school. She liked writing and reading poetry and being away from home.

But there were signs of serious trouble. Jeanette was constantly hungry, and each day when it was time to go home, her demeanor changed, friends said. She became sad, withdrawn and anxious. Her mother was strict, they said, and wouldn't allow friends to call her or let Jeanette visit their homes or invite them over.

"Once the bell rang to go home, you could see she didn't want to go," said Karina Mora, 15, a friend from middle school who attended her funeral.

Amber Davis said Jeanette confessed that her mother beat her after Davis pushed her to explain the repeated injuries. She encouraged her friend to get help, but Jeanette feared that would enrage her mother.

"She got scared and said she didn't want her mom to take her out of school because she thought things would get worse," Davis remembered.

Davis then told her mother, Holly Sams, who called the DHS office in Eugene.

Sams said child welfare screeners downplayed her concerns and told her secondhand accounts of abuse were not sufficiently serious to send social workers out. So Sams told her daughter to enlist officials at Cascade Middle School, which she did.

One school official who asked not to be named and who spoke at Jeanette's funeral said: "We cared about her. We did what we could, and we fed her."

Stepgrandmother reported her concerns to state

After graduating from eighth grade in the spring of 2008, Jeanette was home-schooled by her mother. Friends and family say she was hidden away with almost no contact with the outside world while her siblings attended school and appeared healthy and happy.

Richard McAnulty was often out of town driving trucks across the country. Last summer he ended up in a California hospital for open-heart surgery. Angela McAnulty and the children showed up at the hospital.

Jeanette "looked bad, really thin, her hair had been chopped off, and she had a busted lip," her stepgrandmother, Lynn McAnulty, said.

A few weeks later, McAnulty called the DHS to report suspected abuse. She didn't give her name because she was worried her son and daughter-in-law would find out.

"I said I was a neighbor and told them to check on the kids and said the older girl is extremely thin, and they said they'd check into it," McAnulty said.

In October, she was briefly allowed into the family's home. Jeanette was inside, facing a wall because she was being punished by her mother. McAnulty tried to talk to Jeanette as her daughter-in-law hovered nearby. The girl was emaciated, and she had a split lip, the stepgrandmother said.

Angela McAnulty told her mother-in-law that Jeanette had fallen.

Lynn McAnulty left the house and said she again called the DHS anonymously to report suspected abuse. That was the last time she saw Jeanette.

On the night of Dec. 9, Lynn McAnulty got a frantic call from her son and daughter-in-law that Jeanette was cold and had stopped breathing. Lynn McAnulty said she screamed at them to call 9-1-1, which they did. The couple were arrested later that night after Jeanette was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

No official cause of death has been released. Detectives took away boxes of evidence, and Lynn McAnulty was given the grim task of cleaning out the house.

She found food padlocked in kitchen cupboards and a blood-spattered bedroom. She described the inside of the house as filthy, with junk and toys everywhere. Investigators urged her not to view her stepgranddaughter's body.

"They all told me that I did not want to see this body because it was the most horrific thing they'd ever seen," said McAnulty, who took their advice.

"Dropped into the abyss"

Even though the DHS investigation will not be made public for weeks, one child welfare advocate in Oregon is confident the agency is making important strides and diligently examining its mistakes.

"The leadership of DHS is finally willing to work with advocates and scrutinize themselves," said Robin Christian, executive director of the nonprofit Children First For Oregon.

But she added: "The state is not making the kind of child welfare investments they need."

Attorney David Paul isn't convinced. After deposing scores of state child welfare workers and administrators and examining reams of internal agency documents, he says he does not believe any meaningful change will come from the inside.

"Trying to make this agency accountable is like trying to push a freightliner with a canoe paddle. They are interested in maintaining the status quo," Paul said. "People call the hot line expecting something is going to happen, but you are dropped into the abyss without any rope."

Lois Day, administrator for the DHS' Office of Safety and Permanency for Children, said all calls about abuse and neglect are documented. She said if an allegation of abuse or neglect is made, department officials determine how quickly a family needs to be seen.

"Our response times are within 24 hours to five days," Day said. "We have to document that a delay does not compromise the safety of a child."

If a social worker goes out and determines abuse or neglect is not a concern, that is also documented, she said.

In Jeanette's case, what steps the agency took after receiving calls won't be known until its report is made public.

"The injuries on Jeanette were completely obvious," Amber Davis said. "There's no way anyone from the department could have seen her and said she was OK."


Father of slain Eugene teenager 'crushed' to hear of her death

Associated Press

December 12, 2009

EUGENE -- The father of a teenage Oregon girl who had not seen or heard from his daughter in nearly a decade says he learned of her death and the murder charges against her mother in a phone call from a social worker.

"I am so crushed by this," Anthony Maples said. "I know that I have to accept this as God's will, but it's disgusting that this happened to my little angel."

Maples, of Sacramento, Calif., said an Oregon Department of Human Services worker called Thursday to tell him that his 16-year-old daughter, Jeanette Marie Maples, had been killed in Eugene.

"She said, I'm sorry to inform you that your daughter's been murdered'" Maples said. "She didn't give me many details, but said that it was really horrific."

Lane County sheriff's investigators said they believe the girl died after her mother and stepfather abused her.

Medics who responded to a 911 call at the family's north Eugene home Wednesday night discovered the teen injured and unconscious in a bathtub, officials said.

She died later that night at a local hospital.

Her mother, Angela Darlene McAnulty, 41, and stepfather, Richard Anthony McAnulty, 40, both face charges of aggravated murder.

Court documents supporting the charges allege the teen's death was caused by "neglect and maltreatment" and occurred "in the course of, or as a result of, intentional maiming and torture."

Anthony Maples said he and Angela McAnulty had three children together in the early 1990s but never married.

He said he spent part of that decade in and out of prison because of a drug addiction, and that California state officials removed the couple's children from their home.

Maples said their two sons, now 17 and 18, grew up in a foster home. But he said officials granted Angela McAnulty custody of their daughter, and both left the Sacramento Valley in 2000.

Maples, who said he has cleaned up and now attends college in California, hadn't spoken with his daughter since then.

"I've been trying to contact them for years, and asking my social worker to help me with it, but (Angela McAnulty and Jeanette) didn't stay in contact with me at all," he said.

A Bethel School District spokesman said Friday that Jeanette Maples attended Cascade Middle School in Eugene from early 2006 until June 2008, when she graduated from eighth grade.

At the time of her death, the teen was a home-schooler registered with Lane Education Service District.

Ron Goss, who lives next door to the McAnultys' rented home, said the family kept to themselves. He recalled seeing Maples in her yard with a dog several times.

"I'd wave at her and say 'hello,' but she never said anything back," Goss said. "I thought she was just shy."

Sheriff's investigators on Friday continued to conduct interviews and gather evidence as part of the murder investigation, Capt. Bill Thompson said.

The girl's stepgrandmother, Lynn McAnulty, who is the mother of Richard McAnulty, said earlier this week that she anonymously called state child welfare officials several times earlier this year to report her suspicions that Maples had been abused in her home.

State Department of Human Services officials are working with Lane County law enforcement to review the agency's contacts with the McAnulty family.


Grandmother of slain teen says she repeatedly called the state child abuse hotline

By Michelle Cole - The Oregonian

December 10, 2009

The step-grandmother of a 16-year-old Eugene girl who police say was abused and tortured before her death on Wednesday says she repeatedly called a state child abuse hotline, trying to get someone to check on the teenager.

According to court documents, Jeanette Maples' death "came in the course of, or as a result of intentional maiming and torture." Her mother, Angela McAnulty, 41, and stepfather, Richard McAnulty, 40, appeared in court Thursday to face aggravated murder charges.

Thursday afternoon, Dr. Bruce Goldberg, director of the Oregon Department of Human Services, ordered an internal investigation into caseworkers' contact with the family.

Lynn McAnulty, Richard's mother, was technically Maples' step-grandmother but said "we took her in as if she was our own."

Several months ago, McAnulty said she became concerned about the teenager. Maples had a split and swollen lip, she said. "And it looked like somebody had taken a fist and yanked her hair."

She asked about the girl's swollen lip. " 'Fallen down' is what they told me," she said.

Urged by a friend, McAnulty said she called the state child abuse hotline. She said she made several calls, each time making anonymous reports. She was uncertain when she started making the calls but it was several months ago.

She didn't give her name, McAnulty said, "because I didn't want to lose contact with my grandchildren."

McAnulty lives in Walterville, on the McKenzie Highway six miles east of Springfield.

In terrible hindsight, McAnulty said she should have called police. But she just wanted someone to check on the girl and she thought child welfare officials would do that.

Gene Evans, a Human Services spokesman, could not provide any details on the child abuse hotline calls. One of the purposes of the investigation is to find out what happened, he said.

Whenever a child known to state child welfare officials dies or is seriously injured, Oregon law requires the Department of Human Services to convene a critical incident response team to comb through the agency's files and contacts with the family.

Such reviews are somewhat unusual. The death or injury of a child has triggered 24 similar reviews since Gov. Ted Kulongoski called for more scrutiny and accountability of the child welfare system in 2004.

Detectives worked through the night Wednesday and Thursday afternoon to determine what happened to Maples.

The Lane County district attorney and medical examiner are working on the case. A cause of death has not been released.

Two younger children in the home were taken into protective custody.

A Lane County Sheriff official said the girl was taken by ambulance from her home in the 150 block of Howard Avenue at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

A caller to 9-1-1 told dispatchers that a person there was not breathing. Maples was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.



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