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Local

Judge denies motion to dismiss some seated jurors

MORRISON – Attorneys hit a speed bump this afternoon as they tried to select the remaining jurors who will hear Nicholas T. Sheley's murder case.

Defense attorney Jeremy Karlin asked that the three men selected for the jury this morning be dismissed after a prospective juror said that others were talking about the case earlier.

He also wanted the next batch of prospective jurors dismissed.

Judge F. Michael Meersman denied the motion.

A woman told attorneys and Meersman that some prospective jurors were speculating about the questions they would be asked, not about Sheley's guilt or innocence.

She also said some had asked why they were there since Sheley was convicted in another murder last year and said that the trial was a waste of taxpayer money.

"I think the panel thus far are tainted and that we should dismiss them for cause,” Karlin argued.

He said that more inquires needed to be made about the comments. Assistant Attorney General Michael Atterberry agreed, but said it appeared to be an isolated comment.

Meersman ordered that a bailiff or deputy be inside the room, rather than outside the door, from now on to keep potential jurors from talking.

Jury selection will resume this afternoon

Sheley, 33, is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder and one count each of home invasion and residential burglary.

Prosecutors say Sheley killed Russell Reed, 93, of rural Sterling, in his Blue Goose Road home on June 23, 2008, and stole his wallet and 2003 Buick Century.

Reed's decomposing body was found 3 days later in the trunk of the Buick, which was parked in the driveway of a home on Griswold Avenue.

Sheley also is charged with six other deaths and is serving life withought parole in the murder of a 65-year-old Galesburg man.

Nine jurors have been selected. Attorneys now need three more jurors and three alternates.

Check back for updates. Follow SVM reporter Tara Becker's trial coverage at shawurl.com/sheley or at TaraBecker_SVM on Twitter.  

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