On Monday, May 5, WFLA reported that the trial of Julie Schenecker who murdered her two teenage children got under way. Prosecutors told jury members that Schenecker planned a “Saturday massacre” and described how she “offed” her children in her journal. Defense attorneys for Schenecker tried to explain that she was an all-American military wife who was “sick and troubled.”
Schenecker allegedly shot her two children to death, Calyx, 16, and Beau, 13, in January 2011. At the time of the murder, her husband at the time Parker Schenecker was deployed overseas. The couple has divorced and Parker is expected to testify at the trial for the defense.
Prosecutor Stephen Udagawa told the jury in his opening statement about how Schenecker wrote about the murders in details in her journal. She wrote about the family problems including how Calyx would call her “pathetic” and an “evil soul.” She claimed that both of her children had “sassy mouths.”
The prosecutor revealed that Schenecker purchased a .38-caliber handgun on Jan. 22 and complained in her journal how upset she was about the three-day wait for the background check. When she went to pick up the handgun, she also bought hollow point bullets. About the day of the shooting, she wrote, “I was planning on a Saturday massacre.”
Schenecker allegedly murdered her son in the family minivan while she was taking him to soccer practice. Udagawa told the jurors that Beau sustained two gunshot wounds, one to the head and one in his mouth. After shooting her son, prosecutors contend that she turned the car around and drove home parking in the garage.
Once she entered the home, Schenecker walked up behind her daughter, Calyx and shot her in the head and again in the mouth. In her journal, Schenecker wrote to her husband telling him how lucky he was that he wasn’t home. She wrote, “I might have taken you out, too.”
Udagawa stated that Schenecker told detectives that she had planned to kill herself too and went on to add, “This is the worst thing I’ve ever done.”
Defense attorney, Jennifer Spradley tried to paint a different picture of Schenecker. She revealed that her client had put Calyx’s body in bed and covered her up in order to “tuck her in.” She then tried to move Beau’s body but couldn’t so she settled for covering him up with a blanket.
Spradley described the Schenecker’s as “an all-American family with a sick member.” She told jurors that Schenecker was severely depressed and had been hospitalized for bipolar disorder.
Prosecutors called their first witnesses in the trial, one of which was a Tampa police officer who was the one to find Schenecker at home covered in her children’s blood.
Parker Schenecker spoke with reporters at the courthouse saying, “Today, for the next couple of weeks the focus really is on hearing Calyx and Beau’s voices.”
Schenecker pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of first-degree murder.
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