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Schenecker contests wife's motion to freeze assets

TAMPA — From county jail, Julie Schenecker agreed to have her assets frozen and a lien imposed to repay public defenders representing her against charges she murdered her two teenagers.

But she's got opposition — her soon-to-be ex-husband Col. Parker Schenecker, the father of the victims.

In Hillsborough court Wednesday, attorney Alexander Caballero filed a document explaining the father's side:

"On Jan. 27, 2011, the defendant shot and killed the children while Col. Schenecker was on temporary assignment overseas. …

"After his children's tragic death, Col. Schenecker could not imagine that there was anything else defendant could take from him. However, her motion to freeze assets threatens to delay their divorce proceedings. …

"Much more disturbingly, however, it appears to be an attempt to compel Col. Schenecker — who had only intended to participate in these proceedings to give a voice to his children, the victims — to fund the defense."

Julie Schenecker's motion to freeze assets, filed by her public defenders on Monday, maintains that her husband's interest in individual or marital properties would be unaffected.

But Caballero expressed concern that Col. Schenecker would become entangled.

"Aside from being patently unreasonable," Caballero writes, "the requested relief is not supported in the law."

The motion to freeze assets is premature, Caballero says.

At this early stage in the case, it's not yet known how much Julie Schenecker's defense will cost.

Legal experts estimate that private defense attorneys would charge as much as $250,000.

Col. Schenecker filed for divorce Friday.

The judge in the divorce case, not the criminal case, should have the authority to identify and distribute assets, Caballero says.

Arguments for and against the motion will go before Judge Ashley Moody on Thursday afternoon.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3354.

Schenecker contests wife's motion to freeze assets 02/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:47pm]

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