UK & World News

  • 3 April 2014, 15:24

Mum In Bathtub Case 'Once Hit Sons With Car'

A woman accused of seeking to drown her two youngest sons in a bathtub backed into the boys with her van less than a year ago, her pastor has said.

Court records in Pennsylvania also showed that Laurel Michelle Schlemmer had left a child unattended in a hot car in 2009.

North Park Church Pastor Dan Hendley said the van incident happened 10 months ago in the driveway of home of the boys' grandparents near the town of McCandless, where Schlemmer had been living with her sons.

The accident caused some injuries to the two boys, Daniel and Luke, but no charges were filed.

"There was no concern that there was anything but a terrible accident that occurred in that situation," the pastor said.

"What was shared with me is she was in the van and the boys were behind her and she didn't see them," he said.

"She thought the boys had run inside and, instead, they were in back of the van."

Schlemmer, a 40-year-old stay-at-home mum, was jailed without bail on charges including criminal homicide and attempted homicide.

She apparently tried to drown her sons by sitting on them in a bathtub and told police she had heard "crazy voices" telling her to push the boys down into the water.

Three-year-old Luke died, while six-year-old Daniel was in hospital in a critical condition.

Schlemmer told detectives she thought she could be a better mother to a third son, the oldest, "if the other two boys weren't around, and they would be better off in heaven," a police complaint said.

In another incident, Schlemmer received a citation for leaving a toddler unattended in a parked car. The temperature inside was at 112F (44C) when police arrived.

It was not clear which child was in the car.

Schlemmer faces a preliminary hearing April 11.

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