Debbie Blank The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune
---- — BROOKVILLE – Seven defendants were scheduled for 9 a.m. hearings April 2 in Franklin Circuit Court.
After decisions were made about four cases, Judge Steven Cox called, “State vs. Amanda Napier.”
“My lawyer’s not here,” she said, but then attorney James Moore’s partner, John Worth, navigated his wheelchair up to the defense table (his foot is healing after falling on ice). Worth reported, “I think Jym’s on his way and he’s more familiar” with the case of convicted murderer David Ison’s accomplice.
Because Moore had Napier’s file, the defendant wanted her sentencing hearing to be delayed until his arrival. According to Worth, Moore was at another court appearance in Lawrenceburg.
A Batesville man had a question answered, then an inmate had a conversation with the judge about whether a jail course could lessen time served (maybe) and they bantered about prison politics and the inmate’s new tattoos. Just before 10 a.m. Cox, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Huerkamp and all but two of the inmates left.
While one deputy stood watch over the male inmate seated in the front row of the spectators’ area, Napier and Worth stayed at the defense table, then the attorney was on the phone with his office, trying to track Moore down. Worth left the room just before one deputy relieved the other. Napier sat at the table, head in her right hand, gazing up and seemingly contemplating her future, right leg jiggling.
The Connersville woman, 37, has been incarcerated in the Franklin County Security Center, Brookville, awaiting a March 17 trial, but then inked a plea agreement filed in Franklin Circuit Court March 3.
Napier was to be sentenced on two Class B felony counts, conspiracy to deal a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. According to an information document filed in the court Oct. 16, 2012, she “did conspire with David Ison or Angie Napier (no relation to the defendant) to deliver Oxycontin” and Angie Napier texted her husband about the upcoming drug buy. Amanda Napier drove Ison to the Roy Napier home so he could purchase the drug from the man.
Ison, 48, Glenwood, pled guilty to killing Roy and Angie Napier, two of their children and a neighbor Sept. 25, 2011, at 24015 Stipps Hill Road, Laurel. He was sentenced by Cox to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole March 14, 2012.
Another information document filed that same day stated Amanda Napier “did conspire with and agree with David Ison to commit the crime of armed robbery of the CVS store in Batesville” and she drove him toward the location Sept. 27 while he was armed with a deadly weapon, but instead police arrested them during a traffic stop on U.S. 52 in Andersonville.
At 10:45 a.m. Moore arrived and consulted with his two clients.
The judge took his seat again at 11 a.m. Napier’s attorney wondered about a presentencing document that listed three prior convictions. He said she was convicted of one June 20, 2012, after the Laurel murders, so it really shouldn’t be called a prior crime.
“It isn’t legal history?” Cox questioned. “All that means is I can’t use that as an aggravator” when determining the sentence’s length. He pointed out, “This is a plea agreement. We’re not talking about aggravators or mitigators anyway.”
The judge asked if any victims or families of victims wanted to speak, but no one did.
Cox speedily read the agreement. For each count, the state recommended that Napier be sentenced to 12 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with two years suspended to probation plus fees and fines. The years were to be served consecutively for a total of 20 years of incarceration, plus probation. The paper noted, “This plea agreement resolves any and all crimes that were committed by the defendant in Franklin County on or about Sept. 25-27, 2011.”
The quick hearing ended with Cox noting that even though the sentences are consecutive, “the fees that you are paying … would be paid one time,” although a monthly fee will continue for the entire period. The judge asked about Napier’s jail credit. Her attorney answered that she already has served 190 days.
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.