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Man asks to withdraw guilty plea in Indiana couple's deaths

January 15, 2016

A southern Indiana man asked Thursday to withdraw his guilty plea to a murder charge in the 2013 slayings of a rural Harrison County couple.

Austin Scott of New Albany made the request during a hearing at which he had been expected to be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Under a plea agreement, Scott would have avoided the death penalty.

Authorities have said Scott and Kevin "Drew" Schuler of Greenville broke into Gary Henderson and Asenath "Senie" Arnold's home near New Salisbury, about 20 miles west of Louisville, Kentucky, in August 2013. Police have said the men were going to steal guns and prescription drugs, but the situation escalated and Scott stabbed Henderson to death and Schuler beat Arnold to death. Scott and Schuler were both 18 at the time.

Scott told Special Judge Vicki Carmichael he had been pressured into pleading guilty.

Harrison County Prosecutor Otto Schalk objected to Scott's request in court, saying there was no evidence Scott was pressured into entering his plea. He told reporters after the hearing that he learned of Scott's intent to withdraw his plea moments before entering the courtroom.

Carmichael said she would need time to consider Scott's motion. She set a new hearing in the case for Jan. 22.

Defense attorney Amie Newlon said after the hearing that she could not comment on Scott's reasoning for wanting to withdraw his plea.

Relatives of both the victims and Scott declined comment as they left court.

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