Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Local

No. 2 top story of 2012: Sheley guilty

MORRISON – For the second time in more than a year, Nicholas T. Sheley of Sterling heard the word that sealed his fate: Guilty.

On Nov. 6, a Whiteside County jury found the 33-year-old guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Russell Reed, 93, of rural Sterling.

Prosecutors say Reed is the first of eight people Sheley killed during a weeklong drug- and alcohol-fueled killing spree in late June 2008.

Desperate for crack cocaine, they say, Sheley went to Reed’s Blue Goose Road home on June 23, 2008, beat him to death, took his wallet, and put his body in the trunk of Reed’s own 2003 Buick Century.

Reed’s badly decomposed body was found 3 days later in the trunk of the car, which was parked in the driveway at the residence of his brother’s then-girlfriend.

Sheley faces life in prison at his Jan. 16 sentencing. He’s already serving life without parole for killing Ronald Randall, 65, of Galesburg, on June 28, 2008, Sheley’s second victim.

Sheley’s days in the courtroom are not even close to being over. Whiteside County also will try him in the deaths of Brock Branson, 29, his fiancee, Kilynna Blake, 20, her 2-year-old son Dayan, and Kenneth Ulve, 25, all of Rock Falls.

Prosecutors say Sheley killed them in their Rock Falls apartment on June 28, 2008. Their bodies were found 2 days later.

Newly elected Whiteside County State’s Attorney Trish Joyce told Sauk Valley Media earlier this month that she will prosecute the case “as soon as humanly possible.”

His attorney, Jeremy Karlin of Galesburg, has not said whether he will represent Sheley in the upcoming trial.

Sheley also is charged in the deaths of Jill and Tom Estes, both 54, of Sherwood, Ark.; prosecutors say he killed them on June 29, 2008, in Festus, Mo. Their bodies were found a day later behind a local gas station.

Loading more