Day 1: Chilling testimony in opening day of Schenecker double mu - WFLA News Channel 8

Day 1: Chilling testimony in opening day of Schenecker double murder trial

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - "I was planning for a Saturday massacre," Julie Schenecker wrote in a journal after allegedly killing her two children.

The 53-year-old Tampa mother is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of her two children, her 13-year-old son Beau and 16-year-old daughter Calyx, in their Tampa home in January 2011.

The chilling testimony came at the end of the day Monday from Tampa Police Department Crime Scene Technician Matthew Evans. He read statements from Schenecker's journal, which appeared to lay out a plot to kill herself and her children, then detailed how she fatally shot her two children with a gun she purchased the week of their deaths.

Evans read from Schenecker's journal, "I was hoping it would be tonight... I cannot stand waiting for 5 days." She wrote, "I will pick up the gun on Thursday... Calyx, she gets it first. Don’t know whether I will first turn on the light or have her blind... I'm nervous."

Schenecker continued, "She called me pathetic and an evil soul... The evil starts Thursday." "Beau has become sassy since you left, copying Calyx's attitude. Now he's turned on me. He used to be my ally, I always loved him most/best."

Evan's testimony went on to read journal entries Schenecker allegedly wrote after their killings.

"I've offed Beau on the way to practice," she wrote. "I accidentally shot the window then shot him... Then we got home and shot his mouthy mouth because he became so mouthy just like Caylx."

Her journal described that Beau tried to stop the shooting. She wrote, "He caught me with the gun and told me to put it back in my purse. He had a healthy fight."

Her journal states she then came home and went upstairs where Caylx was on her computer. She "walked up without her reacting, and shot her in the right temple," her journal reads. "Then shot her in the mouth, her sassy little mouth."

Her journal says she then wrapped Caylx in a towel so she wouldn't "mess up her sheets."

She talked about killing herself, allegedly saying she tried to overdose so she wouldn't have to use the gun on herself.

"Cremate me. Maybe donate our bodies to science... If you can cremate the kids, mix our ashes so we can be together," she wrote.

In the journal, Schenecker appeared to be writing to her husband: "It was nobody's fault. I would have done this any time. Luckily you weren't here. I would have taken you out. You will be successful no matter what you do. I command you!!!"

Matthew Evans' testimony will continue at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Watch trial coverage live here.

Emotional opening statements were held Monday morning for Schenecker's trial revealing two different versions of the Tampa mother accused of killing her two children in January 2011.

Assistant State Attorney Steven Udagawa painted a calculated killer to jurors.

The defense laid out a case centered on Schenecker's long history with depression and bipolar disorder. They also said she was molested as a child, at age 6 and again at 17.

"You're going to hear how a mother and soldier lost her battle with chronic mental illness," said defense attorney Jennifer Spradley.

Spradley told jurors Schenecker considered Calyx her "soul mate" and was deeply troubled when she started acting "mouthy" and "sassy."

Tampa Police Officer Gregory Noble was one of the first officers to Schenecker's New Tampa home to conduct a welfare check on the mother and children.

He told the court Monday officers found a note on the front door saying "Carpool: We all went to NYC -Julie."

A former neighbor and carpool member, Venichand Shah, after refuted police testimony that he did not find carpool notes on the door that morning.

Follow WFLA News Channel 8 on Twitter for live updates from the trial.

Upon entering the Schenecker's home, responding officers testified they saw Julie lying motionless on the floor. When she awoke, Noble says her breath smelled of alcohol and dried blood was seen on her robe.

Noble says there was a firearm on the dresser in plain sight. He testified he secured the weapon by removing the bullets and put the gun into evidence. He testified Julie Schenecker was asking questions to officers such as "Where is my gun? I want to use it on myself," "Where is my husband?" and "What day is it? I have car pool, I have to pick up kids."

A second responding Tampa Police Officer, Bill Copulus, described a similar scene and testified Schenecker "did not make any statement she tried to harm herself" when police responded to the home. He also said Schenecker made spontaneous statements to officers such as "My husband's gonna be so distraught" and "Did you find Calyx? She's upstairs in her bed."

Copulus said she appeared under the influence of something, but never asked for medical assistance, and officers made the decision not to call for medical help. He said she did not show signs of shaking at the home.

The defense mentioned the Baker Act, in which a person could be hospitalized involuntarily if police believed they wanted to harm themselves or others, but officers did not believe this fit Schenecker before finding the bodies.

Copulus testified he transferred Julie Schenecker to TPD for questioning, where she appeared "relatively calm."

Also testifying on the first day of trial was Dr. Bernard Adams, a former Chief Medical Examiner for Hillsborough County, who responded to the Schenecker's home the morning of the crime. As the court was shown pictures of  Caylx's and Beau's bodies, Julie Schenecker's eyes remained closed.

Dr. Adams testified both teens died from gunshot wounds to the head. He said they likely died within seconds or minutes.

More: View crime scene photos

Before jurors entered the Hillsborough County courtroom, Julie Schenecker's ex-husband Parker Schenecker addressed the media.

"It's been a long, long road to get to today," he said. "For the next couple of weeks, the focus really is on hearing Calyx and Beau's voices."

Schenecker, a 53-year-old former Army linguist, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to two counts of first-degree murder. She faces life in prison if found guilty.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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