Mother accused of killing teenagers planned in advance

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida Tue Feb 1, 2011 2:06pm EST

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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Reuters) - The Florida mother accused of murdering her two teen-aged children because they talked back to her, planned the killings in advance, Tampa police said on Tuesday

Julie Schenecker, 50, was arrested last Friday after police found the bodies of her 16-year old daughter Calyx and 13-year old son Beau at their home in Tampa. Police said both had been shot in head the day before and that Schenecker confessed to killing them because they talked back to her.

Public Information Officer Laura McElroy, appearing on the MSNBC cable news network, said Schenecker left a note written several days before the shootings. "She was planning to take the lives of her children and then her own life," McElroy said.

Tampa police also released a report of an investigation last December into a complaint by Calyx that her mother had slapped her several times after the two had argued. An investigator came to the family's house and questioned Calyx, Beau and their parents but no charges were filed and the case was closed. "There was no crime that occurred in November," McElroy said.

U.S. Army Col. Parker Schenecker, Julie's husband, was out of the country on duty when his children were killed. He is assigned to Central Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa and returned home Monday.

A statement issued for him said: "Col. Parker Schenecker has returned from his deployment and is grieving with family and friends. He is devoted first and foremost to honoring the lives and memory of his beautiful children, Calyx and Beau."

Funeral arrangements for the children are pending. Julie Schenecker is being held without bail in the Tampa jail.

(Reporting and Writing by Robert Green, Editing by Greg McCune)

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