Pennsylvania

Prosecutor: Mom accused of drowning 2 tried to kill before

This Tuesday, April 1, 2014 booking photo provided by the Allegheny County Police shows Laurel Michelle Schlemmer, who is accused of drowning her two young sons in a bathtub. In opening statements of of Schlemmer's bench trial a prosecutor said Schlemmer, the 43-year-old McCandless, Pa., woman, who 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, had tried to kill the boys before. (AP Photo/Allegheny County Police)

This Tuesday, April 1, 2014 booking photo provided by the Allegheny County Police shows Laurel Michelle Schlemmer, who is accused of drowning her two young sons in a bathtub. In opening statements of of Schlemmer's bench trial a prosecutor said Schlemmer, the 43-year-old McCandless, Pa., woman, who 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, had tried to kill the boys before. (AP Photo/Allegheny County Police)  (The Associated Press)

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

An Allegheny County prosecutor made that claim in opening statements of the bench trial of Laurel Schlemmer. 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.

Schlemmer's attorney didn't make an opening statement. 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.

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.