Tampa Military Mom Convicted Of Killing Her Teens

By: Associated Press News Email
By: Associated Press News Email

News Release: Associated Press News
UPDATED: May 15, 2014

By TAMARA LUSH

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A former Florida military mom convicted of murder in the shooting deaths of her two teenage children told a judge she knows what she has done and apologized.

Jurors on Thursday found 53-year-old Julie Schenecker guilty of killing both her 13-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter in Tampa in 2011. They rejected her insanity plea.

Before a judge sentenced her, Schenecker said, she takes responsibility. She says: "I know I shot my son and daughter. I don't know why. But I have time to try to understand that."

A judge then sentenced her to life in prison. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.

If she had been acquitted by reason of insanity, she would be committed to a mental hospital until doctors and a judge agree that she is no longer a danger to herself or others.


News Release: Associated Press News
UPDATED: May 15, 2014

By TAMARA LUSH

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A former Florida Army officer's wife has been convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of her teenagers, with jurors rejecting her insanity plea.

Jurors on Thursday found 53-year-old Julie Schenecker guilty of killing both her 13-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter in Tampa in 2011.

After daylong closing arguments Thursday, jurors started talking at about 4:45 p.m. and at about 6:30 it was announced they had a verdict.

Prosecutors say she was sane when she killed her children.

The defense argued she suffered from years of mental illness and was legally insane during the time of the killings.

Schenecker wiped her nose and eyes, then the bailiffs handcuffed her. She started to cry.

Sentencing was expected to soon follow and she faces a mandatory life sentence.


News Release: Associated Press News
UPDATED: May 15, 2014

By TAMARA LUSH

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of a former Florida Army officer's wife accused of killing her two teenagers.

After daylong closing arguments Thursday, jurors started talking at about 4:45 p.m. and at about 6:30 it was announced they had a verdict.

Fifty-three-year-old Julie Schenecker is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors say she was sane when she shot and killed her 13-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter in Tampa in 2011.

The defense has argued that she suffered from years of mental illness and was legally insane during the time of the killings.

Both sides presented several mental health experts as witnesses.


News Release: Associated Press News
UPDATED: May 9, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A house cleaner and a psychiatrist have both testified that a Tampa woman accused of fatally shooting her two teenagers was prescribed a cocktail of psychiatric drugs and other medications and showed increasingly depressive and unusual behavior.

Julie Schenecker's defense attorneys began presenting their case on Friday.

Defense attorneys have said Schenecker suffered from bipolar disorder and depression. Michelle Frisco, a house cleaner, and Damien Obregon, a USF psychiatrist who treated Schenecker, were key defense witnesses to establish Schenecker's mental state. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Frisco said Schenecker did not seem the same after returning from rehab in November 2010.

Obregon noted Schenecker's condition increasingly became depressive, and she suffered side effects from a handful of different medications she was prescribed to combat bipolar disorder.


News Release: Associated Press News

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A Tampa mother accused of killing her two teenagers told a detective hours after the bodies were found that they had been mean and she hoped they were dead.

Prosecutors on Wednesday played a recorded interview between Julie Schenecker and Tampa Police Det. Gary Sandel, conducted in January 2011.

Prosecutors Schenecker killed her 16-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of first-degree murder.

Schenecker told Sandel that she shot the teens and that she had wanted to commit suicide. During the interview, her voice was slow and slurred.

Schenecker's attorneys say she has suffered from bipolar disorder and depression for decades.

Prosecutors say the slayings were premeditated.


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