TAMPA - One day after being released from Tampa General Hospital, a New Tampa woman accused of killing her two teenage children made her first court appearance this morning.
Appearing via video link from jail, 50-year-old Julie Schenecker was ordered held without bond by Hillsborough County Judge Walter Heinrich.
Holding a tissue, Schenecker wept softly during the two-minute proceeding as she stood with her public defender, Robert Fraser.
"You are obviously going to be held in jail without bond," said Judge Heinrich.
Detectives say she admitted to shooting her 13-year-old son Beau in the head twice "for talking back" as they drove to soccer practice Thursday and and then shooting her 16-year-old daughter Calyx in the face at home while she studied at a computer. Investigators said she described the killings in detail and believe the teens "never saw it coming."
Both teens were killed with a .38-caliber pistol, which authorities say Schenecker bought five days earlier.
Officers found Schenecker covered in blood Friday after her mother called police saying she was concerned.
Instead of being jailed immediately, Schenecker spent two nights at Tampa General Hospital for what was described as an existing medical condition.
During this morning's proceedings, Judge Heinrich said he anticipates psychiatric evaluations for Schenecker. "I assume in the future the defense will request the appointment of doctors. That is something that will be taking place after they file the appropriate motions."
Schenecker's husband, Army Col. Parker Schenecker, is stationed at the headquarters of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. The father had been away for several days, said CentCom spokesman Lt. Col. Michael Lawhorn, describing him as a career Army intelligence officer.
Police said Parker Schenecker was in Qatar and was told of his children's deaths on Friday.
Media outlets described the students as active at school, with Beau playing soccer at Liberty Middle School and Calyx in the pre-International Baccalaureate program at King High School, where she ran cross-country and started a Harry Potter fan club.
Sylvia Carroll, who attended Muscatine High School in Iowa with Julie Schenecker, said she was a popular and athletic student who excelled in basketball in the late 1970s. They reconnected about a year ago on Facebook.
"I'm just in shock," said Carroll, who now lives in Austin, Texas. "I can't believe this."
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