What about Sheley's appeal in Knox County?

GALESBURG – Murder prosecutions of Nicholas T. Sheley grind on while he is still appealing his first conviction for the murder of a Galesburg man in late June 2008.

His court-appointed attorney, Jeremy Karlin, filed a notice to file an appeal with the Third District Appellate Court in January 2012, several months after he was convicted of the death of Ronald Randall, 65.

Sheley, who is serving life without parole, was appointed an appellate defender to handle the appeal.

Karlin said Friday the appellate defender had pored through trial transcripts, media clippings, and other documents to file a brief in support of an appeal.

That brief, which is due Feb. 14, will address specific aspects of the case that will help the high court determine whether a legal error was made, in either the conviction or sentence.

According to Karlin, the biggest "error" that will be addressed in the brief is that the trial should have been conducted outside of Knox County and that Knox County residents who had knowledge of the other murder charges against Sheley should not have been seated on the jury.

If the appellate court rejects the appeal, Sheley can file a notice of appeal with the Illinois State Supreme Court.

Sheley was sentenced Wednesday to life without parole for the death of Russell Reed, 93, of rural Sterling, who prosecutors and police believe was the first of eight people killed by Sheley during a two-state killing spree in late June 2008.

He also is charged in the deaths of four Rock Falls people and an Arkansas couple in Festus, Mo.

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