Julie Schenecker was in a psychotic state when she killed her children. That was the testimony from two doctors who took the stand Monday morning in her murder trial. Both doctors were hired by her defense team to analyze Schenecker.
Their doctors' testimony is the heart of Schenecker's insanity defense: that she did not know right from wrong, and therefore is not guilty of first degree murder. If the jury finds in her favor, she would be sent to a mental institute, instead of prison.
Doctor Eldra Solomon told the court she believed Schenecker suffered from severe mental illness due to events that happened earlier in her life, including being molested as a child, and being forced to testify against the molester.
She said Schenecker believed her son, Beau, would be molested, and that her daughter Calyx was bi-polar as she was.
Dr. Solomon said those delusions drove her to believe she was saving her children from the pain she suffered.
"She was only focused on her goal,” Dr. Solomon said. "Which was to get out of the pain that she was in and to take her children to heaven with her."
Prosecutors offered another theory. They showed that Julie Schenecker was angry at her husband Parker and their daughter, Calyx because she thought they were plotting against her.
"She said she overheard a telephone conversation in which Calyx asked her dad if he would divorce her mom,” Dr. Solomon told the jury. She also spoke of a secret family email that Julie wasn't allowed to see. Julie believed it was about Parker wanting to divorce her.
Schenecker shot and killed Beau and Calyx in 2011 in Tampa Palms. Their bodies were found inside the family home. Her husband Col. Parker Schenecker was in Qatar on a military assignment.
The defense's case all rests on Schenecker's state of mind. The prosecution has already rested.
Prosecutors continue to argue that Schenecker was smart enough to try to make everyone believe she was crazy, and that she planned and executed the killing of her children.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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