June 18, 2014 | 02:49 PM
Corrections officers were needed because of a verbal sparring session Thursday afternoon after a status hearing for accused murderers Kevin (Drew) Schuler and Austin Scott, but the heated moment wasn't between families of the victims and alleged killers, but the mothers of the accused.
Immediately after the hearing, Scott's mother appeared to be headed out of the courtroom when she stopped in front of Schuler's mother, stared at her and said something in a low voice. Schuler responded, and several expletives were said back and forth before officers stepped in.
Schuler's grandmother said to another family member that she had expected something to happen and had asked that the sheriff be in the courtroom. An off-duty deputy who was in the courtroom walked Scott's family to the parking lot once the dust-up had ended.
The 20-minute hearing was mostly procedural and was a way for counsel and the state to come to an agreement on future court dates to keep the case moving, Harrison County Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk said.
Scott, who was joined by his attorneys Chris Sturgeon and Amie Newlon, and Schuler, who was joined by his counsel, Eric J. Weitzel, said little during the hearing. Schuler mouthed a few words toward his family while, for the first time in court, Scott verbally told his mother, "I love you, too" after she said, "I love you, Austin."
Harrison Superior Judge Roger D. Davis said that all parties agreed to a trial date of Sept. 29, 2015, at 9 a.m., with a final pre-trial date scheduled for Aug. 28 so any motions in limine and final instructions can be given.
Several other hearings are scheduled before the trial date: Aug. 21, Oct. 21, Dec. 5, Feb. 27, April 24, June 19 and July 15. An exhibit list deadline was set for June 19 of next year.
Davis said there was a deadline of Feb. 1 for defense attorneys to file for a change of venue. After the hearing last week, Newlon told a reporter that she anticipated a change of venue would be filed due to pre-trial publicity.
Scott, of New Albany, and Schuler, of Greenville, are accused of beating and stabbing to death a Greenville couple — Asenath (Senie) Arnold and Gary Henderson — inside the couple's home along Walk Drive in August of last year.