Accused murderer enters plea deal
One of two men accused in the 2013 beating death of a Greenville couple entered into a plea agreement last week.
Austin Scott, who was 18 at the time of the murders of 70-year-old Gary Henderson and 57-year-old Asenath (Senie) Arnold, agreed Thursday afternoon to plead guilty to murder and felony murder in exchange for life in prison without parole.
Harrison County Prosecutor J. Otto Schalk announced last year he would seek the death penalty against Scott and his co-defendant, Kevin (Drew) Schuler.
In August 2013, Scott and Schuler were accused of breaking into the couple’s home along Walk Drive and stealing guns and prescription pills. Scott is accused of repeatedly stabbing Henderson to death; Schuler is accused of using a wooden stick with a metal end to beat Arnold to death.
‘I’m so thankful that part of this is over, and it’s a step closer to justice,’ Henderson’s daughter, Sue-z Schmelz, said. ‘He’ll have life without parole and, if it goes through, we don’t have to come to court over and over and over and see this drag on. We would have come as we always have, but this takes that strain off.
‘He’ll never come out,’ she said. ‘It is more justice, to me. He’ll never get out, and every day he wakes up he’ll have to remember exactly why he’s in there.’
Schalk said, ‘The proposed plea, if accepted by the court, will help bring closure to one of the chapters for the families of Gary Henderson and Senie Arnold.’
Special Judge Vicki Carmichael of Clark County will consider Scott’s plea and give a ruling at a sentencing hearing Jan. 14 at 1:30 p.m. in Harrison Superior Court.
Schuler is facing murder, robbery, theft and burglary charges and is awaiting trial next year; due to pre-trial publicity, the venue was changed from Harrison County to Fort Wayne.