Early release denied in manslaughter case
HAZARD – A Perry County man serving 10 years for manslaughter was denied shock probation during a hearing last week.
Eric Ison, 21, was indicted in January 2012 on one count of murder stemming from a motor vehicle crash two months earlier, during which Ison was driving under the influence when he struck a vehicle being driven by 68-year-old Bobby Napier of Breathitt County. Napier died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Ison pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree manslaughter during a hearing in Perry Circuit Court in June of last year. His plea bargain would include a prison sentence of 10 years to serve.
Ison’s attorney, James Hampton, appeared in court on Thursday where he requested that Ison be released from prison early on shock probation. Ison, who was not in court, was 20 at the time of the indecent, Hampton noted, and this was his first felony charge.
“He does accept responsibility for his actions,” Hampton said. “He accepts responsibility for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and accepts responsibility for the consequences.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen was joined by Napier’s sister in court. Both objected to Ison’s early release from prison.
“The defendant did something extraordinarily stupid,” Hansen said in his objection. “He got stoned and drunk out of his mind and went driving. You just don’t do that. And as a result, he killed someone.”
Circuit Judge William Engle denied Hampton’s request, noting that he feels Ison’s early release would unduly depreciate the seriousness of his actions. Engle added that he considered all of the factors in the case, including the indictment and resulting plea bargain, and Ison’s young age in his decision.
“Considering all the factors involved, I don’t think shock probation would be appropriate in this case,” Engle said.
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