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The teens were taken into custody Saturday after being involved in a traffic stop in New Albany, Ind. Police found stolen goods and handguns that linked them to the double homicide in the neighboring county.
After killing Gary Henderson — who was stabbed 23 times — and stealing handguns and other items, the pair told police, they returned a short time later hoping to get more stolen goods when they realized someone else was alive inside the house, Harrison County Sheriff Rod Seelye said.
They heard a woman call out for Henderson and then stormed into Asenath "Senie" Arnold's bedroom and bludgeoned her to death, Seelye said.
Arnold, who used a wheelchair, was found in bed, her skull crushed, Harrison County Coroner Rusty Sizemore said.
"It was brutal, absolutely brutal," said Sizemore. "I think I've seen things, but this is the worst."
Police arrested 18-year-olds Kevin Andrew "Drew" Schuler of Greenville, Ind., and Austin Scott of New Albany, who were arraigned Monday in Floyd County, Ind., on felony charges of theft of weapons and prescription pills. New Albany is the county seat of Floyd County.
Neither has been charged in the two murders, but Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson told the judge that Harrison County officials could file murder charges against Scott and Schuler by Tuesday. Seelye confirmed that charges are forthcoming.
Stephen Beardsley, Scott's attorney, could not be reached by phone Monday evening.
Schuler is represented by Timothy L. Gray, according to court records. A phone number could not be found for him Monday night.
The bodies of Arnold, 57, and Henderson, 70, were found Saturday after a friend and employee came to work at the couple's horse-drawn-carriage business and found them inside their Greenville area home. Arnold was in a first-floor bedroom, while Henderson was found upstairs, Sizemore said.
Greenville is nearly 20 miles northwest of Louisville, Ky.
Henderson had mostly been stabbed in the head and neck, Sizemore said. Arnold was beaten with a rod used on a horse harness, he said.
The couple operated Welcome Home Horse Carriages, a carriage and pony ride business that offered rides at church picnics and weekend festivals.
Investigators in Harrison said the teenagers went to the couple's home in the early hours of Saturday morning after running out of gas on their four-wheelers.
Schuler and Scott each face felony charges of receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance as well as misdemeanor charges of possession of a handgun in Floyd County.
Scott also faces a felony criminal recklessness charge.
Bond for both men was set at $50,000 full cash. Pretrial hearings in both cases were set for next month.
The arrests came after New Albany police were dispatched Saturday afternoon to check on a report of shots being fired. Scott and Schuler were not at the scene when officers arrived.
Court records show that an argument erupted between Austin Scott and his brother Justin at the home and the teen pulled a revolver from the truck he'd arrived in. He pointed it at his brother and fired, but no one was hurt, records show.
He and Schuler sped off, and within minutes two officers spotted the 2001 Ford F-250 pickup and took the two into custody without incident.
"At that time, it was a criminal recklessness investigation," said Sheri Knight, the New Albany police chief. "We weren't sure what was going on."
Police found three handguns and prescription hydrocodone in the truck, according to court records.
Friends and relatives of Arnold and Henderson were stunned and heartsick. Kristi Highfill, who handled pony rides for the couple's business, said "they were a sweet little couple. They wouldn't hurt anybody."
She added, "It just makes no sense."
Since she's been nursing a broken leg, Highfill said she'd arranged for her 16-year-old daughter Kyanne to work in her place on weekends recently. On Saturday morning, Kyanne and fellow employee Kathy Mcdowell went to Arnold's and Henderson's home to load up ponies, saddles and other equipment for a child's birthday party.
"It wasn't unusual for us to get there and start right in" getting the ponies and horses ready for the day's activities, Highfill said.
Highfill said the two loaded the animals, and when Henderson didn't come out of the house to give them the truck keys as usual, Mcdowell walked to the house and found the door open. "She knew something was wrong," Highfill said.
After she discovered Arnold's body, Mcdowell called police, Highfill said. Mcdowell did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.
Sizemore said the couple had been married for years but had divorced at some point to allow Arnold to receive needed medical benefits.