OVIEDO, Fla. - An Oviedo mother accused of fatally shooting her 17-year-old daughter before trying to kill herself was not in court Tuesday when a judge formally charged her with first-degree murder.
Sujatha Guduru, 44, has been in the Seminole County Jail without bond since she was arrested and accused of killing her daughter, Chetna Guduru, on Jan. 27.
Guduru's attorney, Brian Bieber, met with his client at the Seminole County Jail Tuesday.
"As you can imagine, she is in total shock, as is the entire family, total disbelief as to what they're going through," said Bieber.
Guduru entered a written plea of not guilty. Bieber is claiming she was legally insane at the time of the shooting. She's expected to enter a not guilty plea.
Detectives said Sujatha Guduru sent her brother, Prasad Chittaluru, a message on Jan. 27, threatening to kill herself and take Chetna's life, too, so her daughter wouldn’t be alone.
"When my mom checked her, she said they were sleeping," said Chittaluru. "They wouldn't answer. I was getting worried."
Chittaluru told detectives he then drove to his sister's home and found her and his niece in the master bedroom.
"So I came in and turned on the light and I saw both of them laying down, one on the bed and there was a lot of blood coming out," he said.
Sujatha was still breathing so Chittaluru moved the gun away from her and called 911.
When asked if his sister ever tried to commit suicide before, Chittaluru said, "I don't know. I mean, I didn't see."
But Channel 9 reported last month that Sujatha Guduru has a history of mental illness that was exacerbated after she witnessed a Brinks guard get shot and killed several years ago during a robbery in Houston.
She had been seeing a psychiatrist and was even hospitalized for post-traumatic stress.
Detectives said Guduru confessed to shooting her daughter but Bieber said she was on medication during the shooting and she's been hospitalized over the medication three times.
"If there is a case where the insanity defense could prevail, it very well may be this case," said WFTV legal expert Bill Sheaffer.