Attorneys for Julie Powers Schenecker, the New Tampa mother and accused murderer of her children, 16-year-old Calyx and 13-year-old Beau, are attempting to put some of the blame for the children’s death on their father, U.S. Air Force Col. Parker Schenecker.
In a December 5 court filing, Julie Schenecker’s attorney, Edward Brennan, wrote that Parker, an intelligence officer assigned to U.S. Central Command who was in Qatar at the time of the killings, was negligent to leave his wife in a mentally unstable condition to take care of their children.
The court documents state that in the months leading up to the killings, Julie underwent a series of medical surgeries that resulted in her addiction to the pain killer Oxycontin and that Parker knew his wife abused Oxycontin and alcohol and would not allow her to drive the children anywhere. Her lawyers also claim that Parker knew that she was severely depressed and stayed in bed for up to 20 hours a day and, they say, he did nothing to bring her back in to a rehabilitation center.
Julie was in a Clearwater rehabilitation center from November 10–28, 2010, and when she was released, she continued to abuse pain killers and alcohol.
A date for Julie Schenecker’s criminal trial has not been set, although there is another hearing on her charges set for January 18, and the civial case would likely not be set for trial until after the criminal case concludes. However, on August 12, Julie Schenecker’s public defenders announced that she would plead insanity in the criminal case. She faces two counts of first-degree murder, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
In an Email obtained by the St. Petersburg Times, Parker wrote to his family members, thanking them for their support, and also responded to criticism he has received on the matter:
“On the current crisis of how I parent my children, I appreciate your concern … and no worries, I’ll write off your criticism as ignorance.”