Julie Schenecker of Tampa will face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility for parole for killing her teens in 2011.
A Florida woman was convicted Thursday of two counts of first-degree murder for killing her two teenaged kids. Jurors rejected an insanity plea for Julie Schenecker, a former Army linguist from Tampa who shot her 16-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son in 2011.
Schenecker will face a mandatory life sentence. She will not be eligible for parole.
The jury deliberated for less than two hours on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Schenecker’s attorney’s argued that she was medicated and suffering from depression and bipolar disorder at the time of the killings. The prosecutor, however, said she deliberately drove 27 miles to purchase the gun she eventually used to kill her children. On Thursday, a jury of her peers agreed with the prosecution.
Following the conviction, a visibly distraught Schenecker addressed the court. “Your honor I’m prepared and I accept your sentence,” she said through tears, before taking responsibility for shooting her teens, Calyx and Beau. “I apologize. I apologize to every in this courtroom.”
“I know our children are in heaven,” she said. “I want people to try to find comfort in believing as I do that they are in no pain and they are alive and enjoying everything and anything heaven has to offer.”