Day 4: Schenecker yells at psychiatrist on stand about meds, alc - WNCN: News, Weather

Day 4: Schenecker yells at psychiatrist on stand about meds, alcohol

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Julie Schenecker in court on Friday. (Pool photo) Julie Schenecker in court on Friday. (Pool photo)

An angry outburst from Julie Schenecker brought her double murder trial to a halt on Friday afternoon.

Psychiatrist Demian Obregon, M.D., was on the stand, answering prosecutor's questions about Schenecker's medications, and her use of alcohol. Dr. Obregon was explaining that he advised Schenecker against drinking while taking prescription pills.

Suddenly Schenecker yelled, "Doctor you told me I could have two drinks a day, and two oxys a day!"

The judge warned Schenecker against further outbursts and announced a 15-minute break. Attorneys surrounded Schenecker and tried to calm her as more deputies entered the courtroom.

The defense began laying out their case on Friday. A neighbor from the Tampa Palms area, Anjna Shah, testified about the carpool that Julie Schenecker was part of before the murders.

During cross-examination, prosecutors raised questions about how much concentration it takes to navigate traffic on busy Bearss Avenue and 50th Street during rush hour. Shah testified that Julie Schenecker drove the children in January. Prosecutors zeroed in on her testimony in an attempt to undermine Schenecker's statement to police that she could not get out of bed for weeks before the murders.

The Scheneckers' housekeeper testified next. Michelle Frisco has cleaned the Schenecker's home since they purchased it, and is still employed by Parker Schenecker.

She told the jury about her interactions with Julie Schenecker, which she characterized as mostly normal, although she said Julie would sometimes lay in bed during the day.

Frisco testified that Parker Schenecker was concerned about Julie drinking and driving with the children in the car. Julie also told Michelle that she drank more when Parker was out of town.

Defense questioning centered on the time after Julie Schenecker came home from rehab for alcohol abuse. Frisco said that when Julie was gone, Nancy Schenecker, Parker's mother, told her Julie was away with friends. Frisco says she learned the truth when Schenecker returned.

Frisco recalled an exchange between Nancy and Calyx Schenecker during Christmas break of 2011. Nancy had asked Calyx to tell her mother to get out of bed, so Frisco could clean in the room. Frisco says Julie replied that she wouldn't get up until "that b****" [Nancy] left.

Frisco says she did not see Nancy Schenecker at the home after that.

Frisco testified that she went to the home and spoke to Julie Schenecker on January 26, 2011, the day before Beau and Calyx Schenecker were murdered. She testified that she cleaned up several empty alcohol bottles.

Julie Schenecker told her that "Beau was talking to her like Calyx", Frisco recalled. Schenecker told Frisco she was going to shower, and go out. The last time Frisco saw her, she was sitting up in her bed, fully dressed, with wet hair and her eyes closed.

Frisco says she did not hear about the murders until the following Monday.

Before Schenecker's afternoon outburst, psychiatrist Demian Obregon testified that she was on several types of medications for bipolar disorder and other mental issues. Defense attorneys asked many questions about when and why Schenecker's numerous medications were altered or discontinued.

Defense attorneys also asked Dr. Obregon several times about Schenecker's eye contact during their appointments, which started July 20, 2010. Obregon testified that her eye contact was "always intense", and that she consistently exhibited depressive symptoms through early January 2011.

Dr. Obregon testified that he considered hospitalizing Schenecker in December under the Baker Act.

The prosecutor's cross-examination of Obregon focused on the fact that during several successive visits, Schenecker is recorded as denying homicidal or suicidal thoughts, and denying psychotic symptoms. They also focused on her alcohol use and choices she made about her medical care.

Dr. Obregon also read in full several emails he received from Parker Schenecker in November 2010 and January 2011, listing his concerns about his wife, her care, and her relationship with her children. (READ the full text of those emails here)

Schenecker, 53, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder by reason of insanity. She is accused of killing her two children, 16-year-old daughter Calyx and 13-year-old son Beau.

A Tampa Police officer testified Friday that he went to the Schenecker home on November 6, 2010 in response to a call about child abuse. Calyx Schenecker told police her mother got upset and backhanded her three times. She also told a child protective investigator that in the past, her mother had hit her hard enough to make her bleed.

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