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Corydon, Ind. (WDRB) -- The Harrison County prosecutor says he is "strongly considering" the death penalty for two teenagers charged in what authorities call the "rough" and "gruesome" murders of a Harrison County couple.
Prosecutor Otto Schalk filed three separate murder charges against 18-year olds Austin Scott and Kevin "Drew" Schuler. Shalk says the three separate murder charges were necessary to allow room for the possibility of the death penalty.
Court records state Scott and Schuler implicated themselves in the murders after being arrested by New Albany police on an unrelated charges Saturday morning. Scott is accused of repeatedly stabbing 70-year old Gary Henderson to death. Schuler is accused of using a "wooden stick with a metal end" to beat 57-year old Asenath "Senie" Arnold to death.
An arrest affadavit states the two teens entered the home with the "intention of stealing items." Schalk did not say what led to the murders, but said a motive may become clearer as authorities continue to gather evidence. He did say that Schuler knew the couple from having worked on their Indiana farm.
Schalk says three murder charges are as follows: one murder charge for knowingly or intentionally killing Henderson; another for knowingly or intentionally killing Arnold; and a third for committing the act of murder during a burglary, which in Indiana is a qualifier for capital punishment.
Along with the three murder charges, Scott and Schuler were also charged with robbery, theft and burglary, all of which are felonies.
"I will say that seeking the death penalty is being strongly considered. However, I will not make such a decision arbitrarily and I will meet with the families of the victims before taking any other action," Schalk told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
The prosecutor alleges that the teens entered the home in Harrison County with intentions of stealing guns, money and pills, and ended up killing the occupants. The prosecutor said that Austin Scott went straight upstairs to Henderson's bedroom where he stabbed him 23 times, causing multiple injuries to the head, authorities said.
Schuler allegedly went to Arnold's bedroom downstairs and beat her to death with an object.
The family of Arnold and Henderson were present for the news conference with the prosecutor on Tuesday. They were very emotional and said they hope the suspects are fully prosecuted.
"They're suffering. This is horrible for them. What we want is justice," said Kevin Bays, Henderson's nephew.
When asked about whether the family would support the death penalty, Bays said: "We don't want these monsters to ever have this opportunity to do this to anyone else again."
The teens are expected to be transported to Harrison County tomorrow for their initial hearing on the murder charges.
Schuler's mother declined to comment on camera with WDRB News, but Scott had been staying with the family for some time.