ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) - A West Virginia man faces the death penalty if convicted of killing a woman and her two young daughters in Eastern Kentucky.
Carter Commonwealth's Attorney David Flatt filed a notice of intent late last week to have Robert Lee Drown, 27, of Kenova, W.Va., executed if a jury finds him guilty.
Drown is charged with three counts of murder, first-degree arson, first-degree rape and first-degree burglary two weeks after police found the victims' bodies on May 9 inside their mobile home in Hitchins, Ky., about 25 miles from the West Virginia border. The trailer had been set ablaze.
Kentucky State Police said Jennifer Ison, 31, had been strangled, her daughter, 10-year-old Shannah Ison died from blunt force trauma to the head and 3-year-old Marissa Ison died in the fire.
Drown is fighting extradition to Kentucky. He was originally held in West Virginia for failing to register as a sex offender at his Kenova address. However, last week Huntington police also charged Drown in connection a 1998 a sexual assault and robbery.
Drown cut himself in a suicide attempt last week, but was taken off 24-hour suicide watch on Friday, said Lt. Vicki Green, a spokeswoman for the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville, W.Va.
Greene declined to say where Drown cut himself but said he did require stitches.
"He did not cut any main arteries," she said.
Greene said Drown will remain separated from the general population and "extra precautions" are being taken.
"We are still watching him very closely to make sure he doesn't harm himself in any way. That's our responsibility," she added.
Drown had served about 4 1/2 years in prison on charges of sexually abusing an adult female, according to the West Virginia sex offender registry. Drown is also listed on the Ohio sex offender registry.
Information from: The Independent, http://www.dailyindependent.com
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved