Convicted murderers yield parental rights to son.
Convicted murderers Angela and Richard McAnulty have relinquished their parental rights to their 8-year-old son, clearing the way for the boy to possibly be adopted by another family, their attorneys said Wednesday during a juvenile court hearing.
The imprisoned Eugene couple, who were convicted last year in a murder-by-abuse case involving Angela McAnulty's bio logical daughter, initially declined to voluntarily give up their rights as parents.
State Department of Human Services officials had intended to ask a judge to terminate those rights if the couple did not agree to waive them.
The McAnultys did not appear in Lane County Juvenile Court on Wednesday when their attorneys announced that they now support state officials' effort to find a permanent home for their son.
Richard McAnulty, who is serving a sentence of 25 years to life at Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario, spent much of the past week in the Lane County Jail. Before he gave up his rights as a parent, state officials had ordered him to appear as a witness in a trial where a Lane County judge would have decided if his son should be eligible for adoption.
Jail records show McAnulty was returned to prison on Wednesday.
The 42-year-old McAnulty pleaded guilty last April to murder by abuse for failing to protect a stepdaughter - 15-year-old Jeanette Maples - from being tortured by her mother.
Angela McAnulty, 43, is on Oregon's death row, awaiting the execution that a jury deemed appropriate punishment for her admitted torture and murder of Jeanette, who died in December 2009.
The boy who now may be adopted is the sole bio logical child of Richard and Angela McAnulty. He is living with a temporary foster family.
Richard McAnulty "wants what's best for his child and wants a (permanent) home where his child can grow up," his attorney, Dana Weinstein, said during Wednesday's hearing.
Angela McAnulty's attorney, Stephen Shepard, said his client feels similarly.
Angela McAnulty also is the biological parent of a daughter who lived with her and Richard McAnulty in their home off River Road before their arrests.
Jeanette's younger sister has lived with a foster family for about two years. She told a judge in August that she was happy in that home and did not want to be adopted.
Before the girl said in court that she wanted to continue living with the foster family, state child welfare workers had planned to seek an adoptive placement for her.
A judge ordered the girl to have no contact with her mother unless the Department of Human Services determines it is in her best interest.
David Phillips, an attorney for the McAnultys' son, said Wednesday that the boy's "relationship with his sister ... and visits with his grandmother are very important to him."
Phillips urged state officials to try to find the boy a permanent home in the local area, but he acknowledged that may pose a challenge because the child struggles emotionally as a result of previous trauma.
"I know (DHS) is doing their best," Phillips said.
The boy's paternal grandmother, Leaburg resident Lynn McAnulty, declined comment when contacted Wednesday after the hearing. She has unspecified "health problems" that prevent her from adopting the boy, Weinstein said in court.