NEW PORT RICHEY — A trial date has been set for a man accused of killing his ex-wife in January 2018, burying her in their Port Richey yard and then posing as her in texts to her family.
Shelby Nealy, who also goes by Shelby Svensen, did not appear at Friday morning’s hearing in the West Pasco Judicial Center. He’s being held in Pinellas County on charges he killed his ex-wife’s family in Tarpon Springs after they became suspicious of him.
Judge Mary Handsel set Nealy’s trial for July 20 in the slaying of his ex-wife Jamie Ivancic, 21.
Public defender Allison Miller, who is representing Nealy in both cases, asked the judge for more time so she could consider seeking a stand your ground hearing for her client. The judge said a July trial date gives her plenty of time for that.
The Pasco County case is set to be tried first because Ivancic was killed first. Nealy does not face the death penalty in the case.
He is facing the death penalty in Pinellas County.
Prosecutors say he went to the home of Ivancic’s parents on Dec. 15 and used a hammer to bludgeon her father, Richard Ivancic, 71; mother Laura Ivancic, 59; and 25-year-old brother, Nicholas Ivancic.
Their bodies weren’t discovered until two weeks later, on New Year’s Day.
Meantime, Nealy drove to Ohio with the two children he had with his ex-wife. He was arrested there Jan. 6. The same day, Pasco County sheriff’s deputies found the body of Jamie Ivancic buried in her yard.
Attorney Miller told Pasco Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone on June 3 that her client was willing to plead guilty to all four counts of first-degree murder in exchange for four consecutive life sentences. Prosecutors rejected the offer.
Nealy later wrote Bulone a letter on Aug. 5 saying that he was afraid he wasn’t going to get a fair trial because Miller, his attorney, told him Bulone is pro-death penalty and “bloodthirsty,” according to court records.
Nealy said he believes Miller was lying about that but still wants Bulone to guarantee him a fair trial.
“If you believe I’m lying feel free to give me a polygraph test, though considering I confessed to four counts of murder it would make no sense to lie about this,” he wrote.
The next hearing in Nealy’s Pinellas case is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 7.