Police: Suspect killed 5 in Indiana drug dispute

AP News

10/11/2011 4:30:41 PM - AP News

A 46-year-old Indiana man gunned down his drug dealer, three of the dealer's family members and a neighbor after an argument over how much the dealer wanted to charge for oxycodone, state police contend.

David E. Ison was charged Friday with five counts of murder in the Sept. 25 slayings of Roy Napier, 50; his estranged wife, Angela, 47; their children, Melissa Napier, 23, and Jacob Napier, 18; and 43-year-old Henry Smith, a neighbor who was found beaten and shot near the Napiers' mobile home in Laurel, a rural community about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

Ison, of Glenwood, was being held Tuesday on $5 million bond on an unrelated attempted robbery charge, and had not appeared in court on the murder charges. His attorney, John Watson, didn't respond to a phone message Tuesday seeking comment.

In a probable cause affidavit filed with the charges, David E. Ison's girlfriend, Amanda Napier, told investigators that she drove him to buy the prescription painkiller oxycodone from Roy Napier and that they heard gunshots when they were pulling up to Napier's home. She said she stayed in the car while Ison went in to buy the drugs, and that she heard six or seven more shots while he was in the home, but when she asked Ison about the shots he replied, "What gunshots?"

Angela Napier's sister, Teresa Richardson, said Amanda Napier was once married to Roy Napier's brother, but state police have said that as far as they know, she was not related to the victims.

Investigators say Amanda Napier told them that while she was waiting in the car, a man approached the home and that she saw Ison chase him behind a building. When her boyfriend returned to the car, she said he told her the man thought he "was a punk and swung on him," and that Ison "showed him that he was not a punk."

According to the affidavit, Amanda Napier said Ison told her Napier had tried upping the price of the pills and told him he could only buy 30 of them, not 50. She said that after she heard five people had been killed at the home, Ison told her that Napier and his son, Jacob, were armed and had tried to rob him, and that he killed them in self-defense.

Ison was arrested during a traffic stop three days after the killings on attempted robbery charges. Prosecutors say he tried to rob a pharmacy in Osgood, about 25 miles south of Laurel, and that his girlfriend served as the getaway driver. Police say Ison was wearing a wig, fake mustache and makeup when he was arrested, and that he told officers he was wearing the disguise because there was a killer on the loose in Franklin County.

Police found a .380-caliber handgun, like the one they believe was used in the killings, during a search of Ison's car and another one during a search of his home. In his home, they also found Melissa Napier's cellphone, a pair of tennis shoes that matched bloody footprints found at the crime scene and a bloodstained T-shirt, the affidavit states.

Amanda Napier is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery but she has not been charged in the killings. A Ripley County court official said she didn't have an attorney as of Tuesday and that her initial hearing was set for Wednesday. She was being held without bond in the Decatur County Jail.

Franklin County Prosecutor Mel Wilhelm didn't respond to a phone message Tuesday seeking more information about the case.