Seating jury in Schenecker trial could take days - FOX 13 News

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Seating jury in Schenecker trial could take days

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Julie Schenecker, the Tampa Palms mother accused of killing her two children because they were being "mouthy."

The defense plans to seek a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity on the grounds that Schenecker suffered from bipolar disorder with psychotic features and didn't know what she was doing or didn't understand that it was wrong.

Under Florida law, to be found not guilty by reason of insanity, a defendant must prove by "clear and convincing" evidence that because of mental illness, she did not know what she was doing or its consequences, or she didn't know what she was doing was wrong.

Schenecker apparently shot Calyx, 16, and Beau, 13, in January 2011. According to police, the 53-year-old shot Beau twice in the head in the family car for "talking back," as she drove him to soccer practice.

A report said she then drove to the family's upscale home and shot Calyx in the face as she studied on her computer.

Officers found her drenched in blood on the back porch.

Schenecker and her husband, Parker, met during their military service. Parker was attached to U.S. Central Command in Tampa at the time of the killings. They divorced afterward.

During a hearing earlier this month, Schenecker's defense lawyers asked the jury never hear certain statements that she made to police right after they found her two children dead.

They argued she was not in the right state of mind when she spoke to detectives. Lawyers also said she was incoherent and heavily medicated.

The first officer to arrive at the scene took the stand. He said he didn't ask Schenecker any questions but revealed she offered up information while he was taking notes.

Officer Gregory Noble said Schenecker asked "where's my gun, I'd like to use it on myself?"

Noble also said Schenecker asked if officers found her kids and whether they called her husband.

Prosecutors believe the killings were sparked after months of increasing tensions between Schenecker and her children.

Jury selection was just getting underway Monday. In the morning session, jurors were told the trial could last as long as three weeks.

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