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Mother pleads not guilty to killing kids

Julie Schenecker's mugshot.
Julie Schenecker's mugshot.

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida woman, who allegedly killed her two teenage children because she was fed up with their backtalk, pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Police say Julie Schenecker of Tampa Palms shot Calyx, 16, and Beau, 13, when they came home from school Jan. 27 in what she called a premeditated "massacre."

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Public defender Robert Fraser entered a not-guilty plea to first-degree murder on Schenecker's behalf in Hillsborough County court in Tampa, the St. Petersburg Times reported. Schenecker was brought into court in chains.

The public defender's office plans to ask Circuit Judge Ashley Moody to put a lien on Schenecker's assets to pay for her defense.

Her husband, an Army intelligence officer who was in Qatar when his children were killed, was not at the hearing.

"Col. Parker Schenecker is currently out of the state and was unable to attend Wednesday's arraignment for Julie Schenecker," a family spokesman said. "Currently, he is meeting with family members and close friends to formalize his plans to honor the memory of Calyx and Beau. At the same time, he is considering the best path to help him heal from this tragedy."

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Police have alleged Schenecker admitted killing her children because they "talked back, they were mouthy and she was tired of it."

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