Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Accused of killing her kids, Julie Schenecker places blame on their dad

Beau and Calyx Schenecker were both shot to death. Their mother is accused of murder.

Courtesy of Schenecker family

Beau and Calyx Schenecker were both shot to death. Their mother is accused of murder.

TAMPA — Attorneys for a woman accused of murdering her two children say another person also bears blame in the deaths: their father.

Parker Schenecker knew his then-wife, Julie, was mentally unstable yet left the teenagers in her care while he served overseas in the military, they said.

Julie Schenecker's attorneys make that argument in a response Monday to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Parker Schenecker, an Army colonel who was in the Middle East at the time of the January shootings.

They say the accusation is based partly on emails he sent to family members 11 days before the children — 16-year-old daughter Calyx and 13-year-old son Beau — were killed.

In the email, Parker Schenecker wrote that his wife had "the judgment of a 10-year-old" and had hit him and their children.

Parker Schenecker thanked family members who offered help but dismissed those who had criticized "how I'm handling the current crisis."

"Julie was broken before I met her. … I didn't break her, but have been patiently working behind the scenes to pick up the pieces and pick up the slack when she falters," he wrote.

At another point, he asked relatives to "channel your energy toward helping Julie to help herself. Although I'm still trying, I've been unsuccessful in that respect."

Julie Schenecker had been seeing psychiatrists and taking medication since the early 1990s, said her attorney, Paul Sullivan, and in 2001 was committed to a mental institution for nine months.

He said she had to go to drug rehabilitation for alcohol and pain addiction just before last Christmas and spent the holidays in bed. Parker Schenecker forbade his wife from driving the children because of her addiction problems, Sullivan said.

"We pointed out that it was partially negligence on his part that led to these children being left alone with their mother at a time when the dad, according to his own emails, could clearly tell she was a danger to herself and others," Sullivan said.

A spokeswoman for Parker Schenecker dismissed the accusation.

"While not surprised today at Mrs. Schenecker's response, Mr. Schenecker will continue to hold his ex-wife responsible for her horrific actions and is undeterred in his efforts to forever honor Calyx and Beau's memories," spokeswoman Lisa Eichhorn said in a statement Monday. "… Mr. Schenecker simply seeks justice to be served for his children and that their murderer be held responsible for her actions."

The children's bodies were found Jan. 28 in the Scheneckers' Tampa Palms North home. Each was shot twice. Detectives said Julie Schenecker admitted shooting the children, but she has pleaded not guilty and her criminal defense attorneys plan to use insanity as her defense.

At the time, she was being treated for depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse. Detectives found numerous prescribed medications in the house. A close friend told them that the medicines were not "meshing."

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Parker Schenecker filed the lawsuit against his wife earlier this year, telling the St. Petersburg Times he did so only after she sought money for her legal defense as part of their divorce.

The Scheneckers were divorced in May, though the distribution of their assets remains an open question.

Sullivan said he had hoped to postpone filing a response in the lawsuit "to keep from riling up all the hard feelings." But he said she has to put up a defense.

He said that on other occasions, Parker Schenecker had enlisted help, including from his mother, when his then-wife was at low points.

"All through his marriage, he's relied on people to help when she's been bad off," he said. "But this time he didn't."

Accused of killing her kids, Julie Schenecker places blame on their dad 12/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 11:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rick Scott for President?

    Blogs

    Reubin Askew tried. So did Bob Graham. And Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. When you've shown an ability to win statewide elections in America's biggest swing state, you're almost automatically a credible contender for president.

    Rick Scott
  2. The next step in a sex abuse survivor's recovery: Erasing her tattoo

    Health

    TAMPA — Even after 20 years, Sufiyah can't escape the memories of being sexually exploited by gang members as a teenager.

    The tattoo makes it impossible.

    Sufiyah, an aAbuse survivor, prepares to have a tattoo removed  at Tampa Tattoo Vanish  on Thursday. During her teen years, she was sexually exploited by a gang. The tattoo is a mark of her exploiters. 

Tampa Tattoo Vanish is a new tattoo removal business run by Brian Morrison, where survivors of human trafficking get free tattoo removal.  [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  3. Good to be bad? Dirk Koetter's call for bold, brash Bucs

    Bucs

    Is being a badass team all about swagger and toughness? "Our whole thing is about competing," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter says. (Loren Elliott | Times)
  4. St. Pete sewage crisis ends with no charges, $326 million bill

    Water

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city has put the legal fallout from the sewage crisis behind it.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage from the city's overwhelmed sewer system in September 2016. The city recently learned that no employees will face charges as a result of that crisis. The St. Petersburg City Council also agreed to spend $326 million fixing its sewer system. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  5. Epilogue: Tony Scaglione served Ybor delicacies and laughs

    Obituaries

    Tony Scaglione's childhood dream was to own his family's restaurant.

    Tony Scaglione - the longtime owner of Tony's Ybor Restaurant - has died.  He was 87. Credit: Larry Scaglione