Julie Schenecker told the judge she will not testify at her trial as the defense rested its case late Tuesday.
Prosecutors will present a rebuttal case Wednesday in a final attempt to prove her guilty of first-degree murder in the shootings of her children, Beau and Calyx.
Defense attorneys called her ex-husband Col. Parker Schenecker back to the stand Tuesday morning. He testified about the years of mental illness his wife endured -- and the impact it had on their family.
He also testified about a mystery family email that Julie was not allowed to see. She believed the email was about Parker wanting a divorce.
Instead, he explained the email to Julie's parents and siblings was about her mental condition. He says they wrote him to express concern about how he was handling things with Julie.
He says he wrote back, asking "have any of you ever lived with a 50-year-old who had the judgment of a 10-year-old?”
Schenecker explained the context, saying he was talking about the way Julie handled her relationship with their daughter Calyx.
Col. Schenecker said "No ma'am" when asked by the defense attorney whether he considered divorce during that time.
"Were you committed to your family and trying to make things better?" she continued.
"Yes, for 20 years," he told her.
Prosecutors keyed in on anger as a motive in the murders. They say:
She was angry that she was not allowed to read the secret family email.
She was angry that Parker left her in rehab three extra days while the family celebrated Thanksgiving in the Florida Panhandle. She was angry that the children no longer trusted her to drive them.
And she was angry that Parker banned her from the house unless she promised to go to alcohol rehab, after she rear-ended a truck. She was on her way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting when the crash happened, and he said she had several drinks before going.
Prosecutors say that anger led to murder on January 28th, 2010. They say that with her husband on military assignment in Qatar, she killed their children.
First, she shot Beau while driving him to soccer practice. Then she drove home and went upstairs and killed Calyx.
At 7:33 p.m., less than an hour after Beau's murder, she sent Parker an email. He read it for the court: "she wrote, 'get home soon, we're waiting for you!'"
Julie Schenecker’s defense team ended its case with a doctor who analyzed Schenecker. Like two previous experts, he found her to be in a psychotic state at the time of the murders. If a jury agrees, she will be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
After weeks of evidence and testimony delving deep into the troubled mind of the accused, and the family relationships that have been destroyed, the jury also heard that, at least for a time, the Schenecker family was whole.
She was "a very devoted, loving, dedicated mother. The parent who the kids went to when they needed love. And their father was the person who would give them guidance and structure,” the defense expert told the court. "In that sense, they complemented each other very well.”
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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