Judge enters "not guilty" pleas for Harrison County, Ind. murder suspects

CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB) -- Family members of two teenaged suspects charged with murdering an Indiana couple made their first appearance in Harrison County courtroom Wednesday afternoon.

During the court appearance, a judge read the charges against Kevin Drew Schuler and Austin Scott and entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.

On the same day, the family of Schuler apologized to the victim's families through a letter sent to WDRB.

The letter in part reads:

"The family wishes to extend our deepest sympathy, our most sincere apologies & condolences, to each & every one of you for this very sudden, very tragic loss, your family is forced to deal with & attempting to cope with. Our whole family grieves for your family."

Prosecutor Otto Schalk filed three separate murder charges against 18-year olds Austin Scott and Kevin "Drew" Schuler on Tuesday. Schalk says the three separate murder charges were necessary to allow room for the possibility of the death penalty.

Shalk said Wednesday he wants to delay any decision on pursuing the death penalty to allow time for the victims' family members to grieve.

"Their focus does not need to be prosecution at this particular point. I want their focus to be on the two really good individuals that are no longer with us," Schalk said.

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 affidavit states the two teens entered the home with the "intention of stealing items."

Eric Weitzel, an attorney for Schuler, says the fact that this could turn into a death penalty case weighs heavily on his client.

"That was the first thing I discussed," he said. "He is well aware of the serious allegations against him."

Schalk said the public's sympathies don't need to lie with the perpetrators.

"It needs to be on the two people who are no longer with us," he said.

On Wednesday morning, the family of Kevin Schuler, one of two teens accused of murdering an elderly couple in Harrison County, Ind. over the weekend, issued a statement to the families of the two murder victims.

The statement issued by Schuler's family Wednesday morning reads as follows:

To:       The Family of Mr. Gary L. Henderson & Ms. Asenath (Senie) Arnold

To:       Gary's Daughters: Stephanie Riggle & Suzanne Schmeltz.

To:       Gary's 7 Grand Children and Gary's 4 Great-Grand Children.

To:       Ms. Senie's Son: Phyllip Arnold

To:       Ms. Senie's 2 Grand Children

To:       Ms. Senie's Sister, Serena Newkirk and Ms. Senie's Brother, Donald Elgan

The Family of, Kevin A. Schuler (Drew Schuler), wishes to extend our deepest sympathy, our most sincere apologies & condolences, to EACH & EVERY ONE of you for this very sudden, very tragic loss, your family is forced to deal with & attempting to cope with. Our whole family grieves for your family. Your Father, Step-Father, Grand Father, Great-Grand Father & Uncle Gary Henderson & Your Mother Step-Mother, Grand Mother, Sister & Aunt Senie Arnold.

Ms. Senie & Gary were 2 "Wonderful & Beautiful" individuals, from the inside-out. Together & individually, they've touched SO MANY lives, in more ways than one. We feel they were both such a HUGE asset to the community & will be terribly missed by everyone blessed in knowing them & blessed to have ever met them.

Sincerely,

Kevin R. Schuler

Toni Schuler

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