TAMPA, FL- In 2011, Julie Schenecker of Tampa, FL., was arrested for the shooting deaths of her two teenage children, 13-year-old Beau and 16-year-old Calyx. Schenecker, then 50, claimed she shot her children because they were “talking back” to her, Fox News reported at the time.
The crime was especially grisly, with Schenecker shooting her son twice in the head while she was driving him home from soccer practice.
She then returned to the family home, where she shot her daughter in the face while she was in her bedroom doing her homework.
Police alleged that both children were killed with a .38 cal. pistol. She wrote a note in which she said she planned to kill her kids for being “mouthy.”
Schenecker’s husband was attached to U.S. Central Command in Tampa, and was deployed to the Middle East when the murders occurred.
Now, according to Fox 13 News, Schenecker is pleading with a judge to look into the “life-altering” discontinuation of her mental health medications.
At the time of her arrest, Schenecker was seen shaking uncontrollably. According to a clinical pharmacologist, he claimed the shaking was due to a condition called “tardive dyskinesia,” defined as an “involuntary neurological complication” resulting from the sudden stop of psychotropic medications.
Since the time of her conviction, Schenecker has been pleading for a new trial, claiming that she did not have the benefits of “proper experts” to testify.
One of them was a doctor who evaluated Schenecker in 2014. Dr. Daniel Buffington determined that psychotropic medications being taken by Schenecker when she gunned down her children could have caused adverse side effects.
In a hearing last October, Schenecker said her defense erred in not calling Dr. Buffington to the stand during her trial.
Since her conviction, Schenecker was put back on medications, however claimed last July before a judge that she was being coerced to stop them “cold turkey.”
Fox 13 said it is currently unknown if Schenecker is receiving proper doses of her medication, however in a letter to the judge, she said that “guidance for these types of medications do not state ‘may be stopped abruptly.”
Continuing her letter, Schenecker said “…society seems to be figuring out proper treatment for mental illness. May I plead for your mercy, ask for time served, and be part of society again?”
The judge has not yet decided on whether or not he would grant a new trial.
Schenecker seems to have had a change of heart since she admitted in 2015 that she had no regrets over murdering her own children, PEOPLE Magazine reported.
In an interview with ABC News in Tampa, Schenecker said she would do it all again if the same circumstances presented themselves.
“I saved them,” she said.
According to Schenecker, she claimed her son was being sexually abused and said her daughter had told her she was bipolar, neither allegation which was proved during her 2014 murder trial. The interviewer pressed for more information, however she declined to delve further into more details.
Schenecker claimed her memory was hazy. “I took painkillers all the time,” she said. She said she initially planned to commit suicide and not hurt her children.
“I was only going to kill me,” she claimed. “I went to get a gun, but the store wouldn’t let me take it home that day. So I had to wait. If I had gotten it the day that I went to the gun store, I would have killed myself that day.”
She said she didn’t wake up on Jan. 27, 2011, with plans to kill her children. Those sentiments don’t jive with her writings in the days leading up to the killings. PEOPLE obtained copies of her journals, where she had actually planned out the deaths of her children, calling her plans a “massacre.” In other words, the killings were pre-meditated.
The trial was marked by a few moments described as “bizarre” by PEOPLE, including her admission that she had manipulated her daughter’s mouth into a smile after she shot her. She also acted out during her psychiatrist’s testimony, yelling “Liar” in open court, which led the judge to threaten to restrain her if she lashed out again.
The jury deliberated for only two hours and found Schenecker guilty of two counts of capital murder without mental defect. In other words, she was found to be sane at the time of the killings.
Schenecker’s husband Parker was said to be devastated by the killings. He said that while his wife had fought clinical depression, she never showed indications that she was in any way capable of killing her own children.
“We were a typical American family, but we had a sick member,” he told PEOPLE. “I never had any indication she was homicidal or that she would ever harm the children.”
Surprisingly, given the gravity and depravity of the crime, Schenecker was sentenced to life in prison, not the death penalty, which was still in effect in Florida.
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