WILKES-BARRE -- A woman convicted of trying to kill herself and her two children will spend 10 to 30 years in prison.
Melissa Scholl was sentenced Monday in Luzerne County court.
She must also serve 10 years on probation.
Scholl was crying during the character witnesses for her sentencing on Monday morning.
She accepted the guilty verdict, but she told the judge she was not trying to kill her children, it was a cry for help.
“I can finally tell you I love Julian and Vera Scholl. I love them very much,” Scholl told Newswatch 16 as she walked out of the courthouse.
She was found guilty in September of trying to kill herself and her 7-year-old son Julian and 5-year-old daughter Vera in December of 2015.
Prosecutors said she hooked up a hose to her car’s exhaust pipe in a Wilkes-Barre Township School bus parking lot. The car was not running at the time, and her children survived.
She told the judge during her sentencing she was abused by her ex-husband. She also felt overwhelmed as her children’s only caregiver.
Scholl said she thought that by texting her mom she wanted to kill herself that night it would be a cry for help.
“Foolishly, I thought making a scene for her might make her realize how desperate I was. I truly thought I would gain a sympathetic ear,” Scholl said.
“She was feeling that she reached her limits as far as being able to care for the children on her own, being the main wage earner in the family and that’s what happened,” Scholl’s defense attorney Larry Kansky said.
However, prosecutors said if it were a cry for help, Scholl would have told her mom where she was that night. Evidence shown in court during her trial showed her mom texting, “Where are you?” Scholl did not answer.
“Despite all the excuses that we even heard today at sentencing, the jury didn’t believe the excuses, the prosecution didn’t believe the excuses, and now the judge made it clear, he didn’t believe the excuses,” First Assistant District Attorney Sam Sanguedolce said.
Scholl’s defense attorney said he plans on appealing this sentence.
Back in June, Scholl stood trial on two counts of attempted homicide, but jurors could not reach a verdict.