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Schenecker double homicide

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Schenecker double homicide
Hillsborough County Florida Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Tampa Highlighted.svg
Location of Tampa in Florida.
LocationTampa, Florida
DateJanuary 27, 2011 (2011-01-27)
TargetCalyx Schenecker, 16
Beau Schenecker, 13
Attack type
Familicide
Weapons.38 revolver
Deaths2
PerpetratorJulie Powers Schenecker (mother)

The Schenecker double homicide occurred on January 27, 2011; Calyx and Beau Schenecker were found dead by police at their home in Tampa, Florida. Their mother, Julie Powers Schenecker, was arrested on suspicion of their murder after an alleged confession.

On January 29, Schenecker was admitted to Tampa General Hospital, but was released the next day. She was charged with two counts of first degree murder and indicted by grand jury on February 9. Seven days later she entered a plea of not guilty, with her legal team indicating[by whom?] they would pursue a defense on the grounds of insanity. Parker Schenecker divorced his wife in May 2011 and subsequently filed a civil lawsuit for wrongful deaths, following dispute over distribution of the family's assets.

Julie Schenecker's criminal trial began on April 28, 2014.[1] She was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to two concurrent life terms in prison on May 15, 2014.[2]

Schenecker family[edit]

Julie Powers Schenecker (born January 13, 1961 in Muscatine, Iowa) lived in Tampa, Florida with her husband, U.S. Army Colonel Parker Schenecker, and their two children.[3] The couple met in Germany during the 1980s, where Julie Powers was working as a Russian linguist.[4]

At the time of Calyx and Beau's deaths, Parker Schenecker was overseas. Their daughter, Calyx, was 16 and son, Beau, was 13 at the time of their deaths. According to the New York Daily News, the children were described as "cheerful and seemingly happy."[5]

Previous investigation[edit]

Police visited the Schenecker home November 6, 2010, to investigate an allegation of child abuse made by Calyx.[6] No charges were filed against Schenecker but, according to the police report, Schenecker acknowledged that she had hit her daughter.[6] Calyx told a counselor in her once-a-week therapy appointment that her mother had hit her in the face when they were heading home from cross-country practice November 2, 2010, according to the police report.[6] Investigators that visited the home said there were no visible injuries on Calyx when the report was filed four days later. Calyx had told investigators that Schenecker had "hit her with an open hand on her face for approximately 30 seconds", according to the report.[6]

Murder[edit]

On January 28, 2011, police visited the property after receiving a call from Schenecker's mother, who expressed concern at not being able to reach her daughter.[5] Officers found Beau Schenecker in a sport utility vehicle in the garage and Calyx Schenecker in her bedroom; both had been shot with a .38 revolver and covered with blankets.[7] Julie Schenecker was found unconscious on the rear porch covered in blood.[8]

Police stated that Schenecker admitted to killing her children because they "talked back and were mouthy".[8] A police statement said, "She described the crimes in detail."[8] A note was allegedly found in the house describing a plan to murder her children and commit suicide.[4] According to the arrest affidavit, Beau was shot twice in the head on January 27 while being driven by his mother from soccer practice.[9] Schenecker then drove home and killed Calyx in her room as she was doing her homework on her computer.[5][10] The revolver had been purchased five days before the killings.[8] Calyx was found on her bed covered by a blanket.[11]

Criminal trial[edit]

Police arrested Julie Schenecker at the scene, later that day she was admitted to hospital for a "pre-existing medical condition". She was released the next day and taken to Hillsborough County Jail, where she was held without bail.[11][12] On February 9, 2011, Schenecker was indicted by a grand jury for first degree murder.[13] Her arraignment was set for February 16, where she entered a plea of not guilty, with her defense team indicating they would pursue an insanity defense.[11][14] Prosecutors initially said they would seek the death penalty for Schenecker,[15] but later declined to do so.[16] In August 2012, lawyers on both sides said they needed a year to review computer files found on the computer in the Schenecker home before trial.[9] In December 2012, at a hearing a trial date was set for October 7, 2013, for Julie Schenecker.[17] In August 2013, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Emmett Lamar Battles granted a defense motion requesting more time to review evidence and depose expert witnesses. The trial was delayed until April 28, 2014.[18]

Julie Schenecker was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to two concurrent life terms in prison on May 15, 2014.[2]

Civil lawsuit[edit]

The Scheneckers divorced in May 2011. Following dispute over the distribution of their assets, particularly to limit the money available for use in Julie Schenecker's legal defense, Parker Schenecker filed a wrongful death lawsuit against his wife.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New trial date for Julie Schenecker, New Tampa mother accused of killing teenage kids". Tampa Bay Times. 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2013-11-19.
  2. ^ a b "Jury: Julie Schenecker guilty of first-degree murder". Tampa Bay Times. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  3. ^ Reyes, Ray (January 30, 2011). "Friends can't reconcile images of mom accused of killing kids". Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Vander Velde, Jessica; Mitchell, Robbyn; Morales, Ileana (January 29, 2011). "Slain Tampa Palms children remembered fondly by neighbors, in schools". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on January 31, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Mandell, Nina (January 29, 2011). "Julie Powers Schenecker showed no signs of trouble before shooting two children for being 'mouthy'". Daily News. New York. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d "Tampa Mom Julie Schenecker Was Probed for Child Abuse in Fall, But Not Charged". ABC News. January 31, 2011. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  7. ^ "Search warrant details scene where bodies of Florida teens found". CNN. February 1, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-02-03. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d Schabner, Dean (January 29, 2011). "Florida Mom Accused of Killing 'Mouthy' Kids". ABC News. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Lawyers say they need a year to review computer files in Schenecker case". Tampa Bay Times. 2012-08-04. Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  10. ^ Arteaga, Elena (February 9, 2011). "Florida Teens Killed By Mom For Talking Back Remembered By Father At Memorial". KTSM. Archived from the original on 2011-02-11. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c "Grand jury indicts Fla. mom in killing of 2 teens". MSNBC. February 10, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved February 11, 2011.
  12. ^ Schabner, Dean (January 30, 2011). "Julie Schenecker Released From Hospital; Charged With Killing Kids". ABC News. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  13. ^ "Grand jury indicts mom accused of killing kids". Miami Herald. Associated Press. February 10, 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2011.[dead link]
  14. ^ "Mom charged with killing kids pleads not guilty". Associated Press. February 16, 2011. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013.[dead link]
  15. ^ a b Jodie Tillman (December 6, 2011). "Accused of killing her kids, Julie Schenecker places blame on their dad". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  16. ^ State won't seek death penalty for Julie Schenecker in kids' deaths | Tampa Bay Times
  17. ^ "Julie Schenecker's trial in children's slayings set for October 7 in Hillsborough County". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  18. ^ "New trial date for Julie Schenecker, New Tampa mother accused of killing teenage kids". Tampa Bay Times. 2013-08-16. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-16.