Julie Schenecker murder trial jury foreman: 'No sympathy'

TAMPA - It was a cold and sinister plot executed by a mother who was not insane, the Julie Schenecker jury concluded Thursday evening.

“It appears that she orchestrated this thing from day one even up to the final arrangements for herself,"  said Charles Madison, the jury foreman.  "It was an open and shut case for me on like the first or second day."

Madison said the question of Julie Schenecker's insanity wasn't a hard one.

“It's true this lady has mental problems.  But that didn’t make her insane. She gotta be insane at the time.  Not knowing what she was doing," said Madison.

Another juror, John Hart, said a journal that Schenecker kept about the murders weighed heavily in his decision.

"That pretty much tells you everything right there," he said. "She has everything in order. Everything she did, how she planned it, what she was thinking. So that's pretty much what her state of mind 
was at the time."
 
Madison said just one of the jurors was on the fence when they entered into deliberations late Thursday afternoon. But a little more than half an hour later, all 12 had reached a guilty verdict. 

The jury found the New Tampa mother guilty of the first-degree murders of her two teen children, Beau and Calyx back in January 2011.

“In my opinion, the state attorney, this guy [Jay] Pruner; he was fantastic.  And then the state's rebuttal witnesses…they talked to us with conviction and the defense couldn’t break ‘em,” said Madison.

He said the state kept piling on the evidence showing Schenecker knew exactly what she was doing when she pulled the trigger on her children who she complained were "mouthy" and wouldn't stop talking back. 

But Madison said her disorder and her excessive drinking weren't a strong enough foundation for an insanity defense.
 
“You can be bi-polar with psychotic features and still be sane,” said Madison.

He says from the moment Schenecker bought the gun, to the journal entries where she talked about her intentions of murder, it was a cold-blooded and calculated murder.

“For example, one lady for the defense said 'sane people just don’t kill their children.'  Well the state's rebuttal witness gave statistics as to how many times it's happened.”

Madison said he walked out of the courtroom with no regrets Thursday night, because in the end, he believed justice was indeed served.

Did he or the other jurors feel sorry for Schenecker, who will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole?

"Not really.  I think when you murder kids you’re going to lose anybody’s compassion or sympathy, Madison replied.”

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