Husband Testifies In Trial Of Mom Who Allegedly Drowned Sons In Bathtub

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Mark Schlemmer quickly exited the courthouse when day two of his wife’s trial adjourned.

He was the first person to take the stand and Assistant District Attorney Lisa Pellegrini wasn’t afraid to ask him questions about Laurel Schlemmer‘s history of putting their kids in danger.

He appeared very nervous during questioning. In fact, his hands were shaking.

Pellegrini first asked Mark if he was aware of Laurel leaving their son in what police say was a 112 degree car in the Ross Park Mall parking lot in September of 2009. He told her he was aware of it but never recalled talking with her about the incident.

Then, Pellegrini addressed the April 2013 incident, when Daniel and Luke were run over by the car their mother was driving when she backed out of her parent’s garage.

Mark said he remembers Laurel telling him some details and said Laurel did tell him she tied the boys up with twine, but couldn’t remember her telling him she backed over them.

After this incident, Mark said friends were with Laurel all the time so she wasn’t with the kids alone. He said he believes she was on medicine at the time, but remembers when she stopped taking it.

On April 1, 2014 Laurel was accused of drowning six-year-old Daniel and three-year-old Luke in their bathtub. A few days before the drownings, Pellegrini said Laurel told her husband she was going to turn herself in for the 2013 incident but said her husband told her not to.

When the boys drowned, Pellegrini quoted Mark saying to police “I’m a sinner. I could have prevented it.” However, Mark said he didn’t remember saying it to police like that when Pellegrini showed him the report.

The defense brought in a character witness before the close of Thursday’s trial Jane Bartholomew. She said she’s known Laurel since she was three years old and described her as a very gentle, kind woman.

The defense argues that Laurel had a mental disorder and that she suffers from depression and anxiety. Her attorney argues that the depression and anxiety impaired her decision-making and is proof that the death of her sons was not premeditated.

Day three of her trial begins Friday morning.

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