Parker Schenecker takes the stand in ex-wife's Tampa murder tria - WFLA News Channel 8

Parker Schenecker takes the stand in ex-wife's Tampa murder trial

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - The former husband of Julie Schenecker took the witness stand to testify against her Tuesday afternoon in Hillsborough County Court.

Parker Schenecker was married for 20 years to the Tampa mother on trial, accused of killing their two teenage children, 16-year-old Calyx and 13-year-old Beau in January 2011.

In Parker's testimony, he paints the life of a military family, moving often, only spending a few years in each location. After meeting in the military in Germany in 1997, the couple moved overseas a number of times, Arizona, Kansas Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania before moving to Tampa in July 2007.  Parker retired from the military in 2011, the same year of the murders.

Parker Schenecker said his ex-wife - or "the defendant" as he referred to her throughout the questioning - never complained of his deployment, despite openly having a strained relationship with Calyx.

The Schenecker family even attempted to send their daughter to boarding school out to state to separate the two and to "let the situation settle down," Parker said Tuesday.

Parker testified he told his ex-wife, "She needed to be the adult in the relationship." He told her "she was reverting to childish tactics and it wasn’t getting anywhere."

Leading up to the kids' deaths, the family eventually went to counseling together to work through problems.

Two days before Parker was deployed to Afghanistan on January 19, 2011 he asked Julie if she needed help while he was gone. "I got this," she told him, according to Parker.

He says he never felt concerned for the safety of his children. Parker said he video chatted with his children two days before their deaths and there were "lots of smiles."

Detectives found a note to Parker on the family's calendar reading, "Sorry about your parking space. Had to leave it for Beau, my darling precious child." In court Tuesday, Parker indicated he always parked inside the garage, where the body of Beau was found.

Parker also testified that he wasn't aware the defendant had a credit card in only her name; the same credit card used to purchase the firearm that killed their children.

After the children's death, Parker testified he saw Julie Schenecker in jail in February 2011 and said to him: "I guess I stopped your heart flat, huh?"

The trial will continue Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m.

Watch live coverage of the trial here.

Julie Schenecker, 53, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder by reason of insanity.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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