MORRISON, Ill. — The attorney for Nicholas Sheley is seeking a new trial for his client, who has been convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of two of the eight people who were killed during a week-long spree in June 2008.
In November, Sheley was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges connected to the death of Russell Reed, 93, of Sterling. Sheley is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 16 at the Whiteside County Courthouse.
In his motion, Sheley’s attorney, Jeremy Karlin, cites 87 alleged judicial errors in the case dating back a year before Sheley’s trial began in October.
Karlin claims there were several instances when the court attributed delays in the case to Sheley. He also cited the court’s refusal to grant a defense request for a change of venue, the seating of the individual jurors and the court’s decision to allow expanded media coverage and live blogging by reporters during the trial.
The motion also alleges that Circuit Judge F. Michael Meersman did not thoroughly investigate an issue that arose during the jury selection process that resulted in two prospective jurors being dismissed for discussing the case while sitting in a room with other prospective jurors while waiting to be questioned by the attorneys in the case.
In his motion, Karlin also objected to the court’s decision to allow testimony from several witnesses during the trial, including Sheley’s wife, Holly, and to the number of security officers who accompanied Sheley when he walked to and from the bench during the trial in the presence of the jury.
Meersman is expected to hear arguments on the motion before imposing Sheley’s sentence during the Jan. 16 hearing.
Sheley also was convicted in 2011 of first-degree murder in the death of Ronald Randall of Galesburg and sentenced to life in prison. He has yet to be tried on charges related to the deaths of four more people he is alleged to have killed in Rock Falls, and an Arkansas couple who were killed while vacationing near St. Louis.
Sheley attorney asks for new trial
The Associated Press at 12:56 p.m.
MORRISON, Ill. — The attorney for an Illinois man accused of killing eight people from states in 2008 has filed a motion asking for a new trial in one of the murders.
The Daily Gazette in Sterling reports that Nicholas Sheley’s motion will be heard Jan. 16. That’s the same day Sheley is set to be sentenced for his conviction in the bludgeoning death of 93-year-old Russell Reed.
Sheley’s attorney, Jeremy Karlin, claims in his filing that there were 89 judicial errors in Sheley’s case.
Sheley already has been convicted of murder and is serving a life sentence for the killing of a Galesburg man in 2008.