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Community coming together to support murdered mom’s family

Augusta-Aiken WRDW-TV logo Augusta-Aiken WRDW-TV 3/25/2023 Sydney Hood
Commen Schuttz © Provided by Augusta-Aiken WRDW-TV Commen Schuttz

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A husband, is charged with killing his wife in their home, and the community rallies to support the family.

On Friday night, the victim’s mother talks about the last time she spoke with her daughter.

It was the night she died. The mother of an Augusta woman who was killed last week is talking about what happened that night.


Diane Rouse says the last time she spoke with her daughter, Commen Schuttz, was the night she died.

Her husband is now charged with her murder. Rouse sat down with us and says that night she was trying to get to her daughter, but she was too late.

Schultz called her mom just moments before she was killed. And like any other mother-daughter duo, if you saw one you saw the other, along with Schuttz’s daughter Bentlee.

It’s hard not to notice the huge loss Schuttz’s family now feels, but now it’s a mother’s plea to save others from the same fate as her daughter’s.

Rouse says, “I didn’t sleep at all that night, at all. And I still don’t sleep. I see her face. I hear her phone call.”

A call no mother wants to answer.

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“She said, momma. She was saying something about him doing something to Bentlee. And she said you know not to do anything to Bentlee. And then the next thing I know the phone went dead,” Rouse says.

It was the last time she would hear her daughter’s voice.

“And then Bentlee called me on the phone. She said grandmama I’m outside. I think my dad has gone and shot my mom,” Rouse says.

Only 10 years old, Bentlee hid from the violence.

“The neighbor. If she wouldn’t have been there, ain’t no telling what would have happened to her. But Bentlee will be all right because we got Bentlee,” Rouse says.

Bentlee’s got an entire community around her as well.

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Kate Crockett, Augusta Child Advocacy Center Director, says, “If a kid has one supportive adult in their life, they can experience some resilience.”

Resilience is something Bentlee now shows to her grandmother.

“She told me she said grandma, my mom wouldn’t want me to be sad. And she sure won’t. And I’m not,” Rouse says.

Because now they hold onto the memories of their daughter and mother.

Bentlee Mayo, Schuttz’s daughter, says, “We always like go out or we always like to talk when we need to, we always like to go shopping, we always like just be out of the house.

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Crockett says, “This is a piece of their life this is something that happened, you can’t erase it.”

But together they can create good memories while holding on to what they once had.

Rouse says, “I just whisper a little prayer to her and I tell her you to know momma loves you. And one thing I know is you are in heaven with God.”

And the family is still talking about where to go from here to continue Commen Schuttz’s legacy.

Right now their focus is on helping Bentlee through this difficult time.


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