Mom claiming insanity in Fla. slaying of teens

August 15, 2011 - 12:29 PM

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman accused of killing her two teenage children at home will use an insanity defense.

Her public defenders filed their intention late Friday to argue that 50-year-old Julie Schenecker couldn't discern right from wrong when she shot each of the teens twice in the head on Jan. 27.

The filing said Schenecker was suffering from "bipolar disorder with psychotic features."

Schenecker faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her 16-year-old daughter, Calyx, and 13-year-old son, Beau, in their Tampa home. She told authorities she did it because the children had been "mouthy" and disrespectful.

Her husband told detectives that she had struggled for years with mental illness and recent substance-abuse issues.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. A trial date has not been set.