MURRAY — A Murray man accused of multiple offenses, including two counts of murder in the deaths of two women last week, made his first court appearance Monday.
Shannon Scott, 51, spoke very softly without raising his head as he appeared for his arraignment in front of Judge Randall Hutchens in Calloway District Court. Scott is charged with murder in the deaths of Tera Todd, 37, of Murray, and Evelyn Scott, 77, also of Murray, that occurred Thursday night at two residences on Catalina Drive in Murray.
A couple returning home discovered something lying in the garage of their home at about 9:45 Thursday night. It later was found to be a human body.
Court records show the body was that of Todd. After Murray police were called to the scene, they received information that Todd was the caretaker for a woman residing next door, prompting officers to go to that residence, where they discovered Evelyn’s deceased body.
Court records show that, in a search of the residence, Shannon was found in a bathroom. He was detained, then taken to MPD headquarters. After questioning, he was arrested just before 6 Friday morning.
Shannon is charged with two counts of murder, as well as cruelty to animals in the second degree, burglary in the first degree and tampering with physical evidence. Court records show that police believe someone forcibly made entry to the house where Evelyn was found. A dog was also discovered dead inside a trash can outside that residence.
Hutchens set a preliminary hearing date for Feb. 20, but there is a chance that might not be necessary. During Monday’s court proceeding, Calloway Commonwealth’s Attorney Dennis Foust told Hutchens that it is his understanding that a grand jury is scheduled to meet Friday and it is his intention to present this case at that time.
“We can do a direct submission,” Foust said of having a grand jury hear a case before a preliminary hearing. Both involve having evidence heard in a case; a prelim is for a judge to determine if enough evidence exists to move a case forward, while a grand jury consists of a large group of citizens who determine if enough evidence is in place to issue an indictment and send the case to the circuit court level.
“They’re pretty close in their roles, so if the grand jury does, in fact, issue an indictment, then that will be it. There will be no prelim and the case will move forward to circuit,” Foust said. “It’s still good to have both a prelim and grand jury available, though, because you could have a situation where not enough evidence is in place at the time the grand jury meets, but you can still come back and have the prelim.
“However, if the grand jury finds enough evidence is there,which I believe will be the case, then you’ve got the case moving ahead quicker and it’s more economical for the system. These types of cases are going to take a long time, regardless, so I think it’s in everybody’s best interest to get this case moving.”
Hutchens also issued a $2 million bond for Shannon.
“Two million is essentially unobtainable. It’s essentially no bond, which is why I had no problem with that,” Foust said. “If I thought there was a chance someone could put up that kind of money for him, then I would ask for no bond. I think that’s a pretty safe amount.”
Individuals facing charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.