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Florida woman pleads not guilty to childrens' murder

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida woman pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to the execution-style killings of her two teen-age children last month.

Julie Schenecker, 50, was arrested January 28 after police found the bodies of her 16-year-old daughter Caylx and 13-year son Beau at their home in Tampa. Both had been shot in the head.

Police said at the time that Schenecker had told them she killed both children the night before because they talked back to her.

Schenecker appeared in a Tampa courtroom with her hands and feet in shackles and flanked by three armed female deputies. Her public defender entered the not guilty plea at the three-minute hearing.

Her husband, Army Colonel Parker Schenecker, was not present. A family spokesman said he was out of town.

Parker Schenecker was on assignment in Qatar when his children were killed. He is assigned to Central Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

Julie Schenecker is being held in jail without bail. No trial date has been set and prosecutors have until March 25 to decide if they will seek the death penalty for her.

(Reporting by Robert Green; Editing by Jerry Norton)

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