Psychiatrists say Pa. mom understood she was killing kids in tub

An Allegheny County judge could find Laurel Schlemmer guilty of less than first-degree murder if he determines her mental issues were significant enough

Police say Laurel Schlemmer, 43, admitted to drowning the boys, ages 3 and 6, at her home in McCandless in 2014
Courtesy: KDKA Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Defense and prosecution psychiatrists agree that a Pennsylvania woman charged with drowning her two sons in a bathtub knew she was killing them and knew that was wrong.

What they don’t agree on is whether 43-year-old Laurel Schlemmer had a diminished mental capacity when she formed the intent to kill 6-year-old Daniel and 3-year-old Luke.

That’s important because an Allegheny County judge could find her guilty of less than first-degree murder if he determines her mental issues were significant enough. He said he’ll issue a verdict next week.

Schlemmer’s attorney is trying to avoid such a conviction, which would carry life imprisonment for the 2014 killings.

Police said she told them she could be a better mother to the boys’ eldest brother if the two younger kids were “in heaven.”

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