Hillsborough judge gives lawyers a year to prep for Schenecker trial

Published Aug. 11, 2012

TAMPA — A judge gave the Public Defender's Office a year to sift through a million files retrieved from computers inside the home of Julie Schenecker, accused of killing her two teenage children in 2011.

Hillsborough County Public Defender Julianne Holt said Friday the need for a year was no exaggeration. The workload will be overwhelming, she said, and it comes at a time when her office "is engulfed in death-penalty cases."

Circuit Judge Ashley Moody was assured the files taken from five home computers do not include irrelevant program files.

She was told they are all files that Schenecker, her husband and two children created or accessed, including emails, spreadsheets and Word documents.

Schenecker, 51, was not present for the hearing. She has pleaded not guilty to two counts of premeditated first-degree murder.

She is accused of using a .38-caliber pistol to shoot her 13-year-old son Beau in the head after driving him home from soccer practice. Police said Schenecker then walked upstairs and shot her 16-year-old daughter Calyx in the back of the head as she did her homework.

Schenecker told police she shot her children because she was tired of them talking back to her.

On Friday, Moody asked the attorneys for a way to publicly release portions of the files as they become available rather than releasing all the data at the end of a year.

Holt said they could probably provide a plan for that by Schenecker's next hearing on Sept. 13.