Oregon Will Pay $1.5M in Torture Death Lawsuit

March 2, 2012

The state of Oregon has agreed to pay $1.5 million to the estate of a murdered Eugene teenager.

The settlement will resolve a lawsuit alleging that negligence by state child protection workers led to Jeanette Maples’ starvation, torture and beating death at the hands of her mother.

The settlement document was filed this week in Lane County Circuit Court.

Probate records show the lawyer who filed suit last August, David Paul, will receive $500,000 in attorney’s fees and the rest will be paid to Jeanette’s biological father, Anthony Maples.

The 15-year-old was starved and beaten to death in 2009. Her mother, Angela McAnulty, was sentenced to death after pleading guilty to aggravated murder. She remains on Oregon’s death row even though Gov. John Kitzhaber has said there will be no executions during his tenure. The girl’s stepfather, Richard McAnulty, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to murder by abuse.

The Register-Guard reports that Anthony Maples had multiple drug possession convictions between 1990 and 2008. He declared in a sworn statement that he had been clean and sober since more than a year before Jeanette’s death.

“It’s not like I need the money,” Maples told The Oregonian in a phone interview Wednesday. “It’s almost like I don’t want the money because of where it came from. I know that’s hard to fathom.”

The 43-year-old concrete plant worker said he takes responsibility for not being there for Jeanette, a girl he last saw in Sacramento, Calif., when she was still in grammar school. He said he had just been released from prison. They went to see a movie.

“She was so happy being with her father,” he said. “I remember her smile and her giggle.”

The lawsuit targeted Oregon’s Department of Human Services, which is responsible for investigating reports of child abuse and neglect. It accused the agency of failing to reasonably respond to multiple reports that Jeanette was being abused.

The agency directed inquiries Wednesday to the state Justice Department. Justice spokesman Tony Green called the settlement “the right resolution to a difficult case.”

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