A Pennsylvania mother charged with murder and aggravated assault claims that “crazy voices” told her to sit on her two sons while they were in the bathtub.
Laurel Michelle Schlemmer, 40, was arraigned on charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault and child endangerment after allegedly holding her kids under water, killing her 3-year-old son and critically injuring her 6-year-old son.
She called 911 on Tuesday to report that her sons Luke, 3, and Daniel, 6, were unconscious in her McCandless home.
Allegheny County investigators say Schlemmer told them she walked her 7-year-old son to the school bus around 8:40 a.m., returned to the house, and told her other two sons to remove their pajamas and get into the bath.
“Schlemmer said after the boys got into the tub she got into the tub ‘fully clothed’ and ‘crazy voices’ were telling her to push the boys into the water,” says the criminal complaint. “Schlemmer explained that at one point she (was) sitting on top of the boys while they were under the water in the tub.”
Schlemmer told detectives she “thought she could be a better mother” to the oldest son “if the other two boys weren’t around,” according to court documents.
Before paramedics arrived she allegedly attempted to hide her wet clothing.
Luke later died at UPMC Passavant Hospital.
Daniel remains in critical condition Wednesday in the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC.
Schlemmer's preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 11.
According to court records, she has been in trouble for the treatment of her children at least once before, the New York Daily News reported.
In 2009 she was cited for leaving a toddler unattended in a park car. The police report shows the inside of her car was 112 degrees Fahrenheit.