LARGO — Shelby Nealy now faces his fourth murder charge for the first murder he's accused of committing: the January 2018 slaying of his ex-wife.
The 25-year-old man was charged with a fourth count of first-degree murder on Friday, according to court records. His head shaved and wearing a new beard, Nealy made his first court appearance hearing in Pinellas County on Friday. He appeared on a courtroom video screen from the county jail.
He was arrested in Ohio on Jan. 3 on three Pinellas counts of first-degree murder and extradited back to that county on Feb. 2. It was the 2018 murder of his 21-year-old ex-wife, Jamie Ivancic, in Pasco County that led Nealy to kill three other members of her family just before Christmas, according to Tarpon Springs police.
TARPON SPRINGS TRIPLE HOMICIDE CASE:
Law enforcement agencies in Pinellas and Pasco counties say the homicides unfolded like this:
In January 2018, Nealy killed his ex-wife and buried her body in their Pasco County yard. He then used her phone to send text messages and photos of their two young children to family and friends to fool them into thinking she was still alive.
Nealy feared her family was about to unravel that scheme. So in December he left Texas and headed to their Tarpon Springs intending to kill the Ivancic family, according to an arrest warrant. He started ambushing the family members one at a time on Dec. 15. He used a hammer and bludgeoned Richard Ivancic, then his wife Laura Ivancic, and then their grown son Nicholas Ivancic.
Nealy ransacked their home, stole Laura Ivancic's car and fled to Ohio with his two young children, who were taken into custody there.
Tarpon Springs police discovered the family's bodies on New Year's Day inside their home at 1954 Juanita Way home. They were found just 12 miles south of where the Pasco County Sheriff's Office deputies would soon find Jamie Ivancic's body.
Officials said Nealy will soon be taken to Pasco County. But it was not known whether he will stand trial for the fourth murder charge in Pasco, or if it would be combined with the pending trial for the three Pinellas murders.
Last week, prosecutors declared their intention to seek the death penalty for Nealy, who also goes by the name Shelby Svensen. The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office has not yet decided whether to pursue a death sentence in the fourth murder case. He remains in the Pinellas County jail, held without bail.