Judge scheduled to issue verdict in boys’ bathtub drownings

March 16th, 2017 1:50 pm

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A judge is scheduled to issue his verdict in the trial of a mentally ill Pennsylvania woman charged with drowning her two youngest sons in their bathtub.

Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning says he'll deliver his verdict Thursday afternoon. He heard three days of testimony and arguments last week involving 43-year-old Laurel Schlemmer.

The McCandless woman's attorney has argued her diminished mental capacity kept her from forming a specific intent to kill her sons, 6-year-old Daniel and 3-year-old Luke in April 2014. Schlemmer has told police she killed the boys so she could be a better mother to their oldest brother, who was 7 at the time.

Prosecutors want a first-degree murder conviction and life in prison. Schlemmer's attorney is hoping for an acquittal on mental health grounds or a conviction on a lesser degree of murder.