Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

State-hired psychologists will evaluate Julie Schenecker

TAMPA — Prosecutors plan to have state-retained psychologists evaluate Julie Schenecker, the New Tampa mother accused of fatally shooting her two children in 2011.

A judge approved the state's request at a hearing Thursday morning, which Schenecker, handcuffed, attended. She sat stoically with an orange jailhouse jacket hanging over her shoulders.

So far, the psychologists who have evaluated Schenecker were hired by the defense, according to a motion filed by the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say Schenecker shot her two children, Calyx and Beau, on Jan. 27, 2011. She shot her 13-year-old son after driving him home from soccer practice, police said. Then she walked upstairs and shot her 16-year-old daughter as she did homework. Schenecker, who has a history of mental illness, told police she was tired of them talking back.

Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty.

Schenecker's lawyers plan to use an insanity defense. They say that at the time of the shootings, Schenecker was being treated for depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse, court records show. Detectives found numerous prescribed medications in the house.

She remains in the infirmary at the Falkenburg Road Jail.

The trial is scheduled for October.

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