MURRAY -- The capital trial for a man accused of a double murder earlier this year will take place next September, due to factors involving laboratory evidence and the timing of the trial for accused Marshall County High School shooter Gabe Parker.
Shannon Scott, of Murray, is accused of stabbing to death Tera Todd, 37, and cutting the throat of Evelyn Scott, 77, at their home on Catalina Drive in early February.
Investigators believe he also killed the older woman's dog.
Prosecutors told special Circuit Judge Tim Kaltenbach the blood and biological testing they're requiring from the state laboratory can routinely take a year to come back. As that material was submitted for testing in May, a May 2020 return would put the evidence coming back just before Parker's trial is set to begin that June.
Kaltenbach asked the prosecution to prepare an order for him to sign, mandating that the lab return results by that time, so the defense can have time to review them and file motions based on that evidence.
Defense attorney Doug Moore, with the Department of Public Advocacy, requested enough time between Parker's trial and Scott's trial for him to prepare, as he serves on Parker's legal team.
Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis Foust, the lead prosecutor for both Calloway and Marshall counties, and his Calloway assistant James Burkeen are also both involved in Parker's prosecution.
Kaltenbach expressed concern that such a delay could hinder a speedy trial for Scott, but Moore said the defense approved the delay.
Foust indicated, currently, he does not expect to pursue the death penalty for Scott, though he plans to file a notice of aggravating circumstances that make a murder death-penalty eligible. He did not completely rule out the death penalty, but said he's currently seeking a penalty of life without the possibility of parole.
The trial also will necessitate calling a larger-than-normal jury pool, and attorneys discussed a total of about 300 summonses.
If the death penalty is not sought, the prospective jurors will not have to be questioned individually about their views on capital punishment.
Foust initially said he thought the trial could be conducted in two weeks, but Kaltenbach set a three-week trial to ensure there was enough time.
Scott's trial is set to begin Sept. 8, 2020.