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New trial for Sheley?

Defense attorney files motion for retrial

Published: Friday, July 11, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

MORRISON – Nicholas Sheley, found guilty in May of murdering four people, wants a new trial.

A motion filed June 26 by defense attorney Jeremy Karlin challenges the court on a lengthy list of rulings made throughout legal proceedings.

The issues include the assertion that “it was readily apparent that a fair trial could not be had in” Rock Island County, based on the notoriety of Sheley’s case.

Karlin also challenged the denial of his motion for a mistrial based on “allegations that the judge fell asleep on multiple occasions and appeared to be confused.”

Sheley was found guilty May 29 of first-degree murder for killing Brock Branson, 29; his girlfriend, Kilynna Blake, 20; her son, Dayan, 2; and Kenneth Ulve, 25. The killings occurred in the victims’ Rock Falls apartment during the summer of 2008.

Sheley is set to be sentenced on Aug. 11 in Whiteside County court.

Sheley will next head to Missouri, where he could face the death penalty, if convicted of killing two people there. Illinois does not have the death penalty.

Sheley already is serving two life sentences for the murders of Ronald Randall, 65, of Galesburg and Russell Reed, 93, of rural Sterling. He is appealing his Knox County conviction in the Randall case.

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