New Tampa mom Julie Schenecker released from hospital after being charged with killing teen children

4:37 PM, Jan 30, 2011   |    comments
A visibly shaken Julie Schenecker is transported from Tampa Police headquarters to Orient Road Jail.
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TAMPA (AP) - A Florida woman accused of killing her teenage son and daughter was released from a hospital late Sunday morning and taken back to jail.

Julie Powers Schenecker, 50, had been receiving treatment for an unknown medical condition that existed before her arrest Friday. She is scheduled to make her first court appearance Monday morning and is being represented by a public defender.

According to an arrest affidavit, Schenecker shot her 13-year-old son Beau in the head twice "for talking back" while they were in the family car on their way to his soccer practice. The report said Schenecker then returned to their upscale home and shot her 16-year-old daughter Calyx, a cross country running star at her high school, in the face while the girl studied at her computer. Officers found Schenecker drenched in blood on her back porch.

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Investigators believe the teens "never saw it coming," said police spokeswoman Laura McElroy. Both were killed with a .38-caliber pistol. The arrest affidavit said the weapon was purchased five days earlier.

Schenecker's mother called police Friday morning because she was concerned about an e-mail her daughter sent saying she was depressed. Schenecker's husband, Col. Parker Schenecker, is a career Army officer attached to U.S. 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 $448,000 home in a quiet, upscale suburban neighborhood. As the sun set 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," said Soodjinda, 38. "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.

Before Friday's arrest, Schenecker had no criminal record in Florida. On Nov. 8, 2010, she was involved in a car crash in Tampa, according to records from the Florida Highway Patrol, and cited for careless driving.

The crash caused bodily injury and $26,500 of property damage, records show, but it does not explain who was injured or what property was damaged. Schenecker paid a $151 fine and attended traffic school, the report said.

The family appeared to be happy, at least according to friends - and they appeared to glow in photos posted online. The two teens were described as well-mannered by family friends. In several family portraits on Parker Schenecker's Facebook page, the four posed, smiling and relaxed.

"You all look so stunning and young. Did you find the fountain of youth and your not telling anyone!!!! WOW, you four look so good and healthy!!!" wrote one of Schenecker's friends on a dramatic black-and-white photo of the family.

Another photo shows the four in Santa hats. "What a great photo! You never disappoint! Your family is something to be proud of, look at how happy every one of you are!" a friend wrote in response.

Parker Schenecker also posted several photos of Calyx's cross country running team.

Julie Schenecker's Facebook page says she studied physical education at the University of Iowa. In May 2010, she posted a video of her husband; he appeared in a real estate company's video about looking for a home in Tampa.

She posted words of encouragement on her daughter's running photos, reminisced about skiing in Austria in the late '80s and added more than 400 friends.

On Aug. 24, she "liked" a link that read: "Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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