TAMPA, Fla. (TBO.com) - No one disputes that before she was accused of killing her two children, Julie Schenecker had a history of mental illness.
Prosecutors cited “overwhelming evidence” of that history when they announced April 1 they had changed their minds and would not seek a death sentence.
A widely broadcast video of Schenecker after her arrest shows a clearly disturbed suspect trembling uncontrollably as she is placed in a patrol car. When she talked to detectives, an audio recording shows she struggled to be coherent.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin in Schenecker's murder trial Monday in Hillsborough Circuit Court.
The defense plans to seek a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity on the grounds Schenecker suffered from bipolar disorder with psychotic features and didn't know what she was doing or didn't understand that it was wrong.
But even when everyone agrees a defendant is severely mentally ill, succeeding with an insanity defense is extremely difficult, experts say.
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