Closing arguments start in Julie Schenecker murder trial

Posted by MARC R. MASFERRER on May 15, 2014 

From Bay News 9:

TAMPA -- Closing arguments have started in the murder trial of the New Tampa mom accused in the 2011 killing her two teenage children.

Julie Schenecker has admitted to shooting and killing her teenage children, 16-year-old Calyx and 13-year-old Beau in January 2011. She is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Wednesday was the seventh day of testimony with prosecutors presenting three health experts as rebuttal witnesses.

A University of South Florida forensic psychologist testified Wednesday that Schenecker's actions indicate she was aware of what she was doing when she killed her children despite serious mental illness.

Schenecker's fate hinges on whether jurors believe she knew what she was doing when the teenagers were shot. If convicted of first-degree murder, Julie Schenecker would receive a life sentence, since prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty.

To be found criminally insane under Florida law, a jury would have to find that either didn't know what she was doing when she killed her children or didn't understood that it was wrong.

The jury is expected to begin deliberations before the weekend.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service