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Mother Accused Of Drowning Sons Found Competent To Stand Trial

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - After being charged in the drowning deaths of two of her sons last year, Laurel Michelle Schlemmer of McCandless has been determined competent to stand trial.

Investigators say Schlemmer, 41, told police she could be a better mother to her 7-year-old son, who was in school at the time of the incident, if her younger children were in heaven.

Schlemmer told investigators that "crazy voices" told her to sit on her sons in the bathtub on April 1, 2014.

Once the boys were unresponsive, Schlemmer told police she pulled them out of the tub, changed them into dry clothes, and called for help.

Luke, 3, passed away at UPMC Passavant Hospital about an hour later. Four days later, 6-year-old Daniel Schlemmer passed away at Children's Hospital.

Ever since her arrest and a hearing shortly after, Schlemmer has been in Torrance State Hospital. Initially, Dr. Christine Martone, of the Allegheny County Jail's Behavior Unit, said Schlemmer was psychotic and had suicidal thoughts.

But at a hearing Monday before Judge Jeffrey Manning, Dr. Martone and Torrance State Hospital told the judge Schlemmer is now competent to stand trial.

Schlemmer was evaluated on June 29 of this year.

A gag order was issued in the case which prohibits attorneys involved to comment on the decision, but Schlemmer is expected to appear at a preliminary hearing this Friday.

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