Pennsylvania

Psychiatrist: Tub-drowning suspect knew she was killing kids

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 defense psychiatrist says a Pennsylvania woman charged with drowning her two young sons in a bathtub knew that she was killing them and knew that what she was doing was wrong.

Forensic psychiatrist Robert Wettstein testified Friday in the trial of 43-year-old Laurel Schlemmer. She is charged with homicide in the April 2014 drownings of her sons, 6-year-old Daniel and 3-year-old Luke.

She reportedly told police she felt she could be a better mother to the boys' older brother if the two younger kids were "in heaven."

Her defense attorney is trying to avoid a first-degree murder conviction, which would carry life in prison. The defense is trying to convince an Allegheny County judge that the woman didn't have the mental capacity to form the intent to kill.