TAMPA — Col. Parker Schenecker visited his wife in jail Friday to tell her he plans to divorce her.
The face-to-face meeting was their first contact since Jan. 27, when police say Julie Schenecker killed their two children.
Without her, he buried Calyx, 16, and Beau, 13.
When she pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday, he was out of state, with family.
At 7:10 a.m. Friday, he arrived at the Falkenburg Road Jail.
"The meeting was both emotional and productive," a statement from Parker Schenecker read. "We discussed numerous topics but focused mostly on how so many people continue to honor and remember the lives of Calyx and Beau."
Hillsborough County inmates usually talk to relatives by video conference, but jail officials occasionally make special arrangements, said Col. Jim Previtera, who oversees the county's jails.
When the Scheneckers spoke to each other, they were separated only by Plexiglas. Deputies watched the entire time, Previtera said.
The nearly hourlong conversation wasn't recorded, and the Sheriff's Office and a Schenecker family spokeswoman said they won't be releasing more details.
In his statement, Parker Schenecker explained his reason for requesting the meeting:
"I felt it was important and proper to inform her in person about my need to focus on the future, and my intention to file for divorce. Clearly, the events of January 27th have taken Julie and me on different paths.
"I have said for many days now that I will spend the rest of my life honoring the memory of my two beautiful children, Calyx and Beau. This difficult but necessary step will help me to do just that … move forward."
Julie Schenecker, 50, is accused of fatally shooting Beau and Calyx while her husband was serving overseas.
Police say she confessed to the slayings, both in interviews and in handwritten notes in which she described the planned "massacre."
Legal experts say a divorce would probably mean little in terms of her defense, currently provided by the Hillsborough County Public Defender's Office.
Behind bars, she can't easily access funds, and it's her constitutional right to have adequate representation, said Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger.
The only effect a divorce might have is to make it simpler for the Public Defender's Office to file a lien directly on her assets, said Hillsborough Circuit Judge Gregory Holder, who is not involved in the case.
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.