Julie Schenecker was a suburban mother and former military linguist. She is charged with two counts of murder for allegedly killing her two teenaged children. On Monday, Schenecker attend the jury selection stage of her trial at the Hillsborough County courtroom. Her ex-husband Army Col. Parker Schenecker was also in attendance.
According to police, the 53-year-old military wife from Tampa confessed to fatally shooting her 13-year-old son Beau and 16-year-old daughter Calyx because they were being “mouthy”. The crime allegedly took place while their father was abroad.
The court was informed by several potential jurors that they have some knowledge of the case. A number of jury members stated that they have already made a decision regarding the case, based on the reports released by various media.
The jury pool was advised by the presiding judge that the murder trial may last a maximum of three weeks, which some of the members considered a “hardship” that they will have difficulty dealing with.
On January 28, 2011, police officers discovered the bodies of the two teenagers in the Schenecker’s Tampa Palms residence. Authorities had visited their home on a “welfare check” call made by Julie Schenecker. She had allegedly received an alarming email from her daughter, Calyx, that implied that she would be taking her own life.
Two police officers headed over to the Schenecker’s home and found Julie at the patio, sprawled on the floor and initially unresponsive. Once she regained consciousness, she informed the officers that she was on medication for bipolar disorder. Julie added that she had also been drinking prior to their arrival.
However, when the officers checked the other rooms in the house, they found Julie’s daughter Calyx lying on her bed, with two fatal gunshot wounds to the head. The body of Julie’s son Beau was also found dead in the garage, with at least one gunshot wound. Police also managed to find a handgun, as well as multiple used shell casings inside the premises.
Julie Schenecker used to work as an Army Intelligence officer for the U.S. military forces. In her job, she used her ability to communicate in fluent Russian to interrogate refugees. Prosecution are no longer seeking the death penalty but Schenecker could face life in prison without parole if found guilty.
Schenecker pleads not guilty by reason of insanity
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