Nation

Ex-husband on stand in case of mom shooting kids

Julie Schenecker, 53, is on trial in Tampa in the killing of her two teenage children in January 2011.
Jay Conner/Tampa Tribune/AP
Julie Schenecker, 53, is on trial in Tampa in the killing of her two teenage children in January 2011.

TAMPA — The former husband of a military wife charged with killing their two teenagers testified Tuesday that after the slayings, she looked at him and made a chilling statement.

‘‘ ‘I guess I stomped your heart flat, huh?’ ’’ Parker Schenecker testified, repeating what he says his now-former wife remarked to him.

Julie Schenecker, 53, is on trial in Tampa in the killing of 16-year-old Calyx and 13-year-old Beau in January 2011.

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The Scheneckers are divorced. During his questioning by prosecutors in Hillsborough County Court, Parker Schenecker did not mention Julie Schenecker by name, instead calling her ‘‘the defendant.’’

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He was an Army colonel deployed in the Middle East when his children were killed.

Defense attorneys say Julie Schenecker suffered from bipolar disorder and depression. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of first-degree murder.

Parker Schenecker did not show any emotion as he testified for a little more than an hour. He identified various items from the family’s home in photographs, and affirmed that the handwriting in a spiral-bound notebook was Julie’s.

The 50-year-old read one sticky note aloud: ‘‘Tuesday, Feb. 1 Beau is in the van (on the way to practice) Calyx is in her bed tried to make her comfortable.’’

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Prosecutors said the note was written by Julie Schenecker and detailed the location of the teens’ bodies.

Parker said he had no concerns about the teens’ safety with their mother while he was deployed, even though his wife had suffered from mental illness, and was taking pills and uncharacteristically drinking.

Associated Press