Ripley County Sheriff's Office
(Laurel, Ind.) – Five counts of murder are filed against a man who, until now, was known as a person of interest in the killings in western Franklin County.
Roy, Angela, Melissa, and Jacob Napier were found shot to death in Roy Napier’s home on Stipps Hill Road in Laurel on September 25. Family friend Henry Smith was shot and killed at a home across the street.
The victims, who were laid to rest last week, have become known as the Laurel Five.
One man has been charged in the murders – 46-year-old David Ison of Glenwood, Indiana, in Fayette County. The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office filed five counts of murder against Ison on Friday.
The ruthless killings were detailed in a court affidavit describing the charges filed by Indiana State Police investigators.
Ison had a history of buying drugs from Roy Napier. A disagreement in the cost of prescription pills Ison was attempting to buy from Napier may have led to the murders.
Amanda Napier, 32, drove Ison to the drug deal gone bad. Media reports have said she was not directly related to the victims, but was an former sister-in-law of Roy Napier.
She told police she stayed in the car as Ison went to buy pills from Roy Napier. She told detectives she heard several gunshots before Ison returned to the car and they left.
As news of the murders spread, Amanda Napier asked Ison about the killings. He said he was lied to about the number of pills he was to receive from Roy Napier and defended himself because Roy and Jacob Napier were trying to rob him.
Amanda Napier was with Ison when he was stopped by police on U.S. 52 in Andersonville just days after the murders. Police received information as a result of that stop that led them to the home where Ison was lived with his mother in Glenwood.
After obtaining a search warrant for the home, detectives found Melissa Napier’s cell phone, blood spattered clothing, and a handgun with ammunition similar to the casings found at the murder scene. A pair of wet tennis shoes were found drying. They matched shoe prints from the scene.
Although Ison has been charged, Indiana State Police say the murder investigation is continuing.
Ison is currently held in the Ripley County Jail in Versailles on an unrelated charge of Attempted Robbery. He allegedly committed a holdup at the G.A. Triplett Pharmacy in Osgood last May. Police say Amanda Napier was the getaway driver in that crime.
No initial hearing has been scheduled for Ison in Franklin County court. His bond in Ripley County is $5 million.