NEW PORT RICHEY — One of Shelby Nealy’s four murder trials — the case where he’s accused of killing his ex-wife and burying her in the yard of their Pasco County home — was pushed back to Aug. 2.
It had been scheduled for May 10. Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Mary Handsel said during a court hearing Thursday that while she hoped to go to trial in May, the judge who decides when trials can be held amid coronavirus restrictions did not allow it.
“We’re not quite there yet,” Handsel said. “I really, really wanted to go to trial. I was hoping.”
Nealy, 27, faces a charge of first-degree murder in Pasco County and a possible life sentence if convicted. He is also charged with three counts of first-degree murder in Pinellas County and in each case he faces the death penalty.
In the Pasco case, Nealy is accused of killing his ex-wife Jamie Ivancic in January 2018 and burying the 21-year-old mother of two at their Port Richey home, according to court records. Nealy then pretended she was alive by sending text messages and photos of their two young children to her family members in Tarpon Springs, police said.
When the family got suspicious, investigators say in December 2018 he drove across the county line, ambushed three of her family members and beat each of them to death with a hammer. He is accused of killing his ex-wife’s father, Richard Ivancic, 71; mother Laura Ivancic, 59; and 25-year-old brother, Nicholas Ivancic. The family’s three dogs were also found dead in their Tarpon Springs home.
Nealy then fled to Ohio with the children. Deputies discovered the Ivancic family’s bodies, tracked Nealy down, arrested him in 2019 and brought him back to Florida. His trial in Pinellas is set for Oct. 5.
Nealy has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but in June 2019 his defense team attempted to strike a plea deal with the state. He would plead guilty to all four counts of first-degree murder in exchange for four consecutive life sentences. The state rejected that and is continuing to pursue a death sentence.
He did not appear in court on Thursday morning. Nealy is being held without bail in the Pinellas County jail.