LARGO — The 25-year-old facing the death penalty for the triple homicide that took place in Tarpon Springs just before Christmas has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.
An assistant public defender entered the plea on his behalf during an arraignment hearing Monday. Nealy, who also goes by Shelby Svensen, did not attend the hearing. He is being held without bail in the Pinellas County jail.
Nealy faces a total of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of the Ivancic family, who authorities say were killed over a year's time in Pasco and Pinellas counties.
Tampa Bay Times Coverage: Tarpon Springs Triple Homicide Case
The first murder he's accused of took place in January 2018. He killed his 21-year-old ex-wife Jamie Ivancic, according to Tarpon Springs police investigators, then used her phone to send text messages and photos of their two kids to fool family and friends into thinking she was still alive.
But when Nealy feared her family was about to unravel his scheme, police say he targeted her family in Tarpon Springs. He is accused of bludgeoning his in-laws Richard Ivancic, 71, his wife Laura, 59, and their 25-year-old son Nicholas just before Christmas. He targeted them one at a time, police said, and also killed their three dogs.
Investigators believe Nealy killed his in-laws because he feared they would discover he had killed their daughter. Their deaths were discovered on New Year's Day, which soon led to the discovery of her body about 12 miles north of the family's Tarpon Springs home. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office said she was found buried in the yard of a Port Richey home the couple once stayed at.
Authorities tracked Nealy and his two young children to Lakewood, Ohio, where he was arrested Jan. 3 on three counts of first-degree murder. The children were placed in state custody. He has confessed to the murders, investigators say, and was returned to Pinellas County on Feb. 2. A fourth-count of first-degree murder in the 2018 death of Jamie Ivancic was filed on Feb. 22.
Nealy faces the death penalty in the three Tarpon Springs homicides. The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office has not yet decided whether to pursue that penalty in the fourth murder case.
He also faces three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals in the deaths of the family dogs.
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Contact McKenna Oxenden at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @mack_oxenden.