Suspect in rural Ind. shootings pleads not guilty

AP News

10/12/2011 10:20:01 PM - AP News

An Indiana prosecutor said Wednesday she might seek the death penalty against a man charged with fatally shooting his drug dealer, three of the dealer's family members and a neighbor in an apparent dispute over the price of oxycodone.

David Ison, 46, of Glenwood, Ind., pleaded not guilty Wednesday to five counts of murder. He appeared in Franklin Circuit Court wearing a protective vest, WCPO-TV reported (http://bit.ly/pEIRcX).

Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor Melissa Wilhelm told WCPO the state might pursue the death penalty in the case.

When Judge Steve Cox asked him if he understood why he was in court, Ison replied, "Yes, your honor." Ison also told the judge he was not under the influence of drugs or being treated for mental illness.

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

A probable cause affidavit says the shootings followed an argument between Ison and Roy Napier over how much Napier was charging for the painkiller oxycodone.

Police said they 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. Melissa Napier's cellphone, a pair of tennis shoes that matched bloody footprints found at the crime scene and a bloodstained T-shirt also were found at the home, police said.

Ison was being held on a $5 million bond on an unrelated charge of attempted robbery.