Scottie Scheffler has 4 charges against him. So what now? His ...

27 days ago

By: Josh Sens

Scottie Scheffler - Figure 1

May 17, 2024

Scottie Scheffler's arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

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Whatever score Scottie Scheffler posts on Sunday at the PGA Championship, there’s no doubt what his attorneys will record for him on Tuesday. 

“We’ll be pleading not guilty,” Steve Romines told in a telephone interview Friday evening.

Romines, a prominent Louisville-based defense attorney, is representing Scheffler in a case that exploded into national headlines after the world’s top-ranked golfer was arrested Friday morning while driving to Valhalla Golf Club to prepare for his second round of the tournament.

The incident occurred amid a traffic jam caused by a fatal accident about a mile away, in which a tournament volunteer was struck and killed by a shuttle bus. According to the police report, Scheffler, in an attempt to bypass the bottleneck, pulled around the congestion into an adjacent lane, where Detective Bryan Gillis of the Louisville Metro Police was directing traffic. Gillis said that he stopped Scheffler and attempted to give him instructions, but that Scheffler “refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging (him) to the ground.”

While many details around the incident remain murky, this much is clear: Scheffler was arrested and taken to the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections and slapped with four charges — three driving-related misdemeanors and second-degree assault of a police offer, a felony — before being released in time to make his Friday morning start. In a statement, Scheffler said that he had been “proceeding as directed by police offers” and that the incident stemmed from a “big misunderstanding of what I thought I was being asked to do. I never intended to disregard any of the instructions.”

Scottie Scheffler - Figure 2

Next up in Scheffler’s legal drama is an arraignment, slated for Tuesday morning, though that could change if any conflicts arise for the parties involved.

Unlike trials, arraignments are not an opportunity to present detailed evidence. There are typically “perfunctory” proceedings, Romines said, in which the defendant — or the defendant’s attorney — enters a plea and awaits the judge’s ruling.

Romines said that he and his team will enter a “not guilty” plea for Scheffler on all four charges, but that he does not expect a same-day decision by the judge. 

Why was Scottie Scheffler arrested? Here’s what police say happened By: Alan Bastable

“More likely it will be a matter days,” Romines said, at which point, one of two things will happen.

“Either the judge will dismiss the charges, or we’ll go to trial.”

In the meantime, Romines said that he and his team will continue collecting evidence, including eyewitness accounts and police body-cam footage, which he said that law enforcement “generally had 30 to 45 days” after an arraignment to produce.

Prosecutors have the option of dropping all charges before the arraignment. But that would be “an unusual occurrence,” said Kevin Price, a Louisville-based criminal defense attorney.

The most serious charge against Scheffler — second-degree assault — can result in a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years. To earn that conviction, prosecutors would have to establish that Scheffler either intentionally caused serious injury to another person, or that he wantonly did so, meaning that he committed an act with reckless disregard for another person.

Romines said that was clearly not the case. 

“Scottie did not intentionally do anything wrong,” he said. “He was doing exactly what they told him to do.”

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Josh Sens Editor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.

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