Mistrial in Case of Mom Accused of Trying to Kill Self, Kids

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WILKES-BARRE--- After seven hours of deliberations, the jury announced they could not make a unanimous decision and were deadlocked in the case of a mom accused of trying to kill herself and her two kids in Luzerne County.

Newswatch 16 learned from one of the jurors that they were split: nine in favor of conviction and three opposed.

Throughout the afternoon, jurors did have a few questions for Luzerne County Court Judge David Lupas, but he encouraged them to continue deliberating and reach a verdict if it is possible.

Melissa Scholl decided not to take the stand in what the prosecution said is the most important case in the entire county.

Scholl is accused of trying to kill herself and her two kids with carbon monoxide poisoning in a school bus parking lot back in December of 2015.

Witnesses said she hooked up a garden hose from her car's exhaust pipe and into the driver's side window with her kids buckled in the back.

Testimony suggests the car engine was not running when a bus driver pulled the hose out of the car and called 911.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Larry Kansky said the case is full of sloppy police work.

"They botched this case," Kansky said. "They did no real investigation that night. They did no forensic testing."

Just before the incident, Scholl's cell phone record shows she texted her mom, "going to kill myself, can't do it anymore."

"She wasn't trying to kill herself, let alone her two beloved children. What she did basically was make gestures to get her mom to come get those kids," Kansky said.

However, the prosecution argued there is no evidence that Scholl's mom even knew her daughter was at the bus parking lot because Scholl wasn't answering what prosecution called, her mom's desperate texts.

"It's a dramatic, self-centered, narcissistic plan. It's a substantial effort toward her own suicide and the murder of her seven-year-old son, Julian and her five-year-old daughter, Vera strapped into the backseat," prosecuting attorney Sam Sanguedolce said.

Sanguedolce went on to say that all of this unraveled in front of an ex-boyfriend's mother's school bus. The ex-boyfriend has since died but could be the father of two other children Scholl put up for adoption.

Sanguedolce alleged this was a twisted plot for her ex-boyfriend's mom to find.

"This is not a cry for help. This is a carefully crafted plan to have a big, dramatic, gruesome discovery the next morning," Sanguedolce said.

Judge Lupas has scheduled a status conference on July 7th where a decision will be discussed about the possibility of a future trial.  A motion for Melissa Scholl to be let out of jail was denied.


  • Sam

    Asses she didnt kill anyone and the policr botched the investigation. DA just on a witch hunt for a raise and to score poi nts. leave this woman alone you hippocratical bastards

  • Coony

    Another frackville native i suppose? That place produces the oddest of people. I wonder if she worked at one of those glorious distribution centers?

    • Hermandfudge

      Sedco has done good!!!nothing wrong with distribution centers. Better than bon ton where I stocked undies. Some used.

    • Givemeabreak

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me she kind of looks like a dude. I even thought I saw an adams apple. Whatever you’re into I guess.

  • Archie Beal

    Repeal and rewrite the 2nd and 4th ammendments immediately. Unnecessary violence will subside dramatically!

    • Lets Be Honest...

      Might as repeal the 1st while you’re at it, because that’s what comes next after the 2nd & 4th are gone. If you hate america, then leave. London’s been nice, go there.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Good, This poor woman doesn’t need jail time, she needs mental health time….put her somewhere will she will get the help she so needs….4 blank wall won’t do jack for her in jail…….
    I feel sorry for this woman….

    • Tobie Hannah

      Rope you’re prepared to feel even sorrier when she does follow through on the murder-suicide a year or two from now.

    • Givemeabreak

      You could make an argument that anyone who commits a crime is temporarily insane. I feel sorry for the kids.

  • Sam

    She should have hired Steve Korbitt to be her legal counsel. Attorney Korbitt seemed to have all the answers and excuses when this attempted murder suicide happened.

  • Scran-Tony

    “If the hose doesn’t fit you must acquit “- Johnny Cockroach
    Lots of fugly jealous women in NEPA
    If she really wanted them dead, she would have done it right.

  • think positive

    All I can say is “those poor kids”. I hope they will be okay. And hopefully she will never be granted anything more than “supervised visitation” until they are not minors anymore, and can make their own decisions.

    • Writer Girl

      It’s not up to us to decide. This woman needs help. Mental illness is real. The kids will need some help getting through this too.

  • Angie

    shes going to end up getting away with it. I don’t know how anyone can think oh she wasn’t going to kill the kids when the idiot had them strapped in the back seat. seriously, should have dropped the kids off at your mommys house instead of texting the poor woman and then went to the parking lot. lets keep making excuses for people who obviously need meds, Id rather them know they are crazy than not LOL

  • Potholearsholeylvania

    don’t ever cry for help, Sanguedolce or someone else will crucify you & then you’ll be labeld as a nutcase and then you’ll have less priveledges than the terrorists they let into this country

    • crazy like a fox

      You’re right! I got help a couple years ago, meds etc. Friends found out. I was labeled as a crazy. So I stopped taking meds hoping people would accept me again without a label. I was wrong. Now I’m a crazy without my meds. Be careful my friends.

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