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Man convicted of shooting, killing 5 people in Franklin County wins appeal

David Ison

CONNERSVILLE, Ind. — An Indiana man convicted of fatally shooting five people in 2011 will get another chance before the court that convicted him.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled last week that a Franklin County court should consider David Ison’s 2015 petition, which argues Ison had ineffective counsel and questions whether his guilty plea was voluntary.

The appellate court ruled the lower court erred when it found the only petition properly pending before it was Ison’s original 2014 filing that didn’t make those claims.

“Without any explanation, the court concluded that the only petition properly before it was the original petition. This was erroneous,” Judge Robert R. Altice Jr. wrote in the opinion.

Ison was sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to the killings in rural southeastern Indiana. A probable cause affidavit alleged the shootings were linked to Ison’s efforts to buy prescription painkillers.

The Connersville News-Examiner reports that Ison asked the trial court in June to overturn his guilty plea and grant him a new trial.

Ison was convicted of killing five people: Roy D. Napier, 50; Angela Napier, 47; Melissa L. Napier, 23; Jacob L. Napier, 18; and Henry X. Smith, 43. The victims were found in and near a mobile home in rural Laurel, about 50 miles southeast of Indianapolis.