Mon, Jan 31, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Mom charged in children’s killing sent to hospital

AP, TAMPA, FLORIDA

The woman who authorities allege killed her teenage daughter and son because she was fed up with them talking back and being mouthy did not appear in court on Saturday because she was being treated at a hospital for an unknown condition.

Authorities say Julie Powers Schenecker was hospitalized shortly after midnight on Saturday to be treated for a medical condition that existed before she was taken to jail.

Sheriff’s deputies — who oversee jail inmates — said they could not reveal Schenecker’s medical condition, citing healthcare privacy laws. A jail spokesman said late on Saturday that Schenecker was still at the hospital and that her first court appearance was pending.

An arrest affidavit said Schenecker shot her son twice in the head in the family car “for talking back” as she drove him to soccer practice. The report said Schenecker then drove to their upscale home and shot her daughter in the face inside the home.

Schenecker’s mother called police on Friday morning, and told them she was concerned after her daughter had sent an e-mail saying she was depressed. Officers found Schenecker drenched in blood on her back porch — and once they saw the teens, the scene was so troubling that a stress team was called to counsel the responding officers, a police spokeswoman said.

Calyx, the girl, was 16 and a cross country running star at her high school. The 13-year-old son, Beau, was in eighth grade.

Investigators believe the teens “never saw it coming,” police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

Both were killed with a .38-caliber pistol. The arrest affidavit said the weapon was purchased five days earlier.

Schenecker’s husband, Parker Schenecker, is a career army officer attached to US Central Command in Tampa. He was working in the Middle East when the shootings happened.

In 2008, the family moved to Tampa and bought a US$448,000 home in a quiet, upscale suburban neighborhood. As the sun set on Friday evening, residents walked by crime scene tape that sealed off the cul-de-sac that the Schenecker family lived on.

Neighbor Charanun Soodjinda said the Scheneckers “fit right in” when they arrived.

The couple’s two children often played in the cul-de-sac with other neighborhood kids, and Julie Schenecker seemed to be at home a lot.

“They seemed like a nice family,” Soodjinda, 38, said. “I never thought this would happen. How could you do that to your children?”

It was clear something had gone wrong: As police led Julie Schenecker to a patrol car Friday, she shook uncontrollably, her eyes wide and wild.

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