Weather Alerts 2 View »

Opening statements begin in Tampa mom's trial

Opening statements begin in Tampa mom's trial

By Andrew Murphy. CREATED May 5, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Opening statements are underway in the trial of Julie Schenecker, the military wife charged with killing her two teenagers while her husband was deployed overseas.

The 53-year-old former Army linguist has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Last week, prosecutors, defense attorneys and Hillsborough County Judge Emmett Battles questioned dozens of potential jurors. On Friday, some were excused after they said the images of dead children would be too traumatic for them. Others were excused because they either knew about the case or the anticipated three-week trial would be a hardship.

Police say Schenecker fatally shot 16-year-old Calyx and 13-year-old Beau in January of 2011. She and her husband have since divorced. Her husband is expected to be a witness for the defense during the trial.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)