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.”