Prosecutor: Mom accused of drowning 2 sons tried to kill them before

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PITTSBURGH — A prosecutor says a Pennsylvania woman accused of drowning her two young sons in a bathtub had tried to kill the boys before.

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The 43-year-old McCandless woman is charged with killing 6-year-old Daniel and 3-year-old Luke in April 2014 so she could focus on raising their older brother. An Allegheny County prosecutor made that claim in opening statements of the bench trial of Laurel Schlemmer.

(Andrew Rush/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP) Laurel Schlemmer, who is accused of drowning two of her sons, is escorted to the courtroom at the Allegheny County Courthouse Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

But in a pretrial discussion with the judge, he made clear that he’ll try to prove Schlemmer was insane or operating under diminished mental capacity. Schlemmer’s attorney didn’t make an opening statement.

The prosecutor says Schlemmer left Daniel in a hot vehicle in 2009, then ran over both boys with her van about a year before drowning them.