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Sheley seeking a divorce

Accused spree killer accuses wife of adultery, mental cruelty

Nicholas Sheley
Holly Sheley

STERLING – In a handwritten petition, twice-convicted murderer Nicholas Sheley has filed for divorce from his wife of 5 years.

In documents filed in Whiteside County Court, Sheley, who turned 34 on Wednesday, says Holly Sheley, 35, now of Naperville, cheated on him on numerous occasions with multiple individuals and has "been guilty of extreme and repeated mental cruelty."

He also cites irreconcilable differences, and notes that the two have been separated for 5 years – the length of his incarceration. He filed the documents pro se – acting as his own attorney.

Holly Sheley could not be reached for comment, and it was not clear from the document, a handwritten copy of which Sheley mailed to Sauk Valley Media, if she had been served.

Sheley is accused of killing eight people, including the two for which he was convicted, over a week's time in late June 2008. He and the former Holly Gaul had been married a little less that 2 months at the time.

They have two children, an 8-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl, who live with their paternal grandparents, per court order. Sheley is requesting that the guardianship remain the same after the divorce.

After winning a change-of-venue motion, jury selection in his third murder trial is set to begin Jan. 10 in Rock Island County Court. He will stand trial for the deaths of Brock Branson, 29; his fiancée Kilynna Blake, 20; her 2-year-old son, Dayan; and Kenneth Ulve, 25, who were bludgeoned to death in a Rock Falls apartment.

He is serving two life sentences without parole in Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet for the murders of Ronald Randall, 65, of Galesburg and Russell Reed, 93, of rural Sterling. He has appealed the decision in the Randall case.

His wife testified against him in his October 2012 trial for murdering Reed; in return, she was given immunity from prosecution for any crimes she may have committed in relation to the killing spree.

She testified that he was a “violent drunk” who often turned to crack cocaine when he had been drinking, and that he was spending $300 a day on the drug at the time of the murders.

Holly Sheley, who could not be reached for comment, also has an extensive criminal history.

Most recently, she was sentenced April 4 in Lee County court to 180 days in jail for unlawful possession of another person’s credit card, along with 2 years, 6 months of probation.

She was sentenced March 25 in Ogle County Court to 180 days in jail and 4 years' probation for selling less than a gram of heroin, a felony, on Aug. 17 in Oregon, followed by 4 years of probation. She received day-for-day credit, and was released for time served.

She also has multiple convictions for burglary, retail theft, and forgery, dating back to the late 1990s. Most have resulted in short jail terms.


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