A mom from Pittsburgh has been sentenced to 30 to 80 years in prison for drowning his two sons, aged three and six, in a bathtub.
In April 2014, Laurel Schlemmer, 44, got her two sons, Luke and Daniel, out of their superhero pajamas before getting into the bathtub with them, as reported by Mirror. She then held them under water until they stopped moving. In her barely coherent confession to the police, she said she heard “crazy voices” in her head and “freaked out” when she noticed that her two boys were unconscious.
“They got in the bathtub and, um, these crazy voices were prompting me to act irrationally.”
“I, uh, changed clothes and, um, and I got in there with them and held them under water.”
“And I felt like I was looking down on the whole thing, just kind of out of body, and then I freaked out and then got out (and) changed my clothes and got them out.”
Laurel Schlemmer then dialed 911, telling the dispatcher she found her sons unconscious just after playing with them in the bathtub.
The paramedics arrived and provided the two unconscious boys medical treatment. Luke died soon after, while Daniel held on for dear life for four days before succumbing to his injuries.
Police officer Todd Ray said they found the boys, their hair dried and combed over, lying next to each other when they arrived at the scene.
Psychiatrists for the prosecution stated in court that Schlemmer was obsessed with the idea that her two youngest boys were autistic and would never grow up to become “independent adults” despite the fact that the series of tests she put them through proved otherwise.
Schlemmer confessed that also she tried to kill his two sons in 2013 by tying their hands and feet before running them over with a minivan three times. She claimed later it was an accident, and law enforcement officers ruled the incident as such.
A mother's dark journey: Laurel Schlemmer's belief that her sons had disabilities led to their drowning deaths https://t.co/A3EKKmHtmn— Pittsburgh PG (@PittsburghPG) March 19, 2017
Luke and Daniel survived the ordeal, but somehow they remained under their mother’s care.
Laurel Michelle Schlemmer arrives to be sentenced for drowning two sons. pic.twitter.com/8tHQHST8nb— Paula Reed Ward (@PaulaReedWard) September 13, 2017
A few days before she drowned her two sons, Schlemmer told her husband Mark she wanted to confess to the attempted murder but he talked her out of it, the Sun reports. She met her husband through a Christian singles online dating site. She reportedly told psychiatrists that she felt “pressured” to bear her husband more children as he opted not to use birth control for religious reasons.
Schlemmer had three miscarriages before giving birth to Luke and Daniel. She said that her younger sons felt “foreign” to her and her husband, according to Dr. Bruce Wright, the prosecution’s expert psychiatrist. She also felt that her two sons were not as compliant as her eldest son. She said she drowned her two youngest sons after taking her eldest son to the school bus stop.
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