- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The only woman on Oregon’s death row will remain there.

The Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction and sentence of Angela McAnulty, who tortured and killed her teenage daughter in 2009.

The Eugene woman pleaded guilty on the day her trial was set to begin in 2011. A Lane County jury then sentenced her to death.

In its ruling, the high court said the trial judge should have granted a motion to suppress some statements McAnulty made to investigators after invoking her right to remain silent. But the justices decided the admission of those statements during the penalty phase was a “harmless error,” and the high court maintained the conviction and sentence.

Emergency responders took the teen, Jeanette Maples, to a hospital on Dec. 9, 2009, after her stepfather called 911 to report the girl wasn’t breathing. Medics found the 15-year-old girl unconscious in a bathtub and she died later that night.

“Given the severity of Jeanette’s prolonged starvation, dehydration, physical injuries and localized infections, authorities were unable to pinpoint a single cause of death,” the court opinion states.

McAnulty gave birth to Jeanette in 1994 while living in California but soon lost custody because of neglect, physical abuse and drug use. She later married Richard McAnulty and regained custody of Jeanette. The stepfather is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to murder by abuse.

The Oregon Department of Human Services investigated the family home after Jeanette wrote to a school official that she had been denied food. A caseworker found the place stocked with food and closed the case without taking action. The state later settled a lawsuit by agreeing to pay $1.5 million to the murdered girl’s estate.

Since Oregon voters in 1984 reinstated capital punishment, just two inmates have died via lethal injection - one in 1996, the other a year later.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has placed a moratorium on executions during his time in office.

McAnulty, 46, spends her days in a cell at a women’s prison in Wilsonville. The 33 men on Oregon’s death row live at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem.

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Follow Steven DuBois at https://twitter.com/pdxdub .

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