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Local

Sheley gets four consecutive life terms for Rock Falls murders

MORRISON – Spree killer Nicholas Sheley today was given four life sentences on top of two he had been given earlier.

The 35-year-old Sterling man was sentenced this morning for first-degree murder in the fatal beatings of Brock Branson, 29; his girlfriend, Kilynna Blake, 20; her son, Dayan, 2; and Kenneth Ulve, 25. A jury convicted Sheley on May 29 of beating them to death with a hammer in their Rock Falls apartment in June 2008.

The killings were part of a series of eight murders that authorities say Sheley committed that summer in Illinois and Missouri. He already was serving life sentences for killings in rural Sterling and Galesburg.

Sheley had previously been convicted of the beating deaths of Russell Reed, 93, who was killed at his home west of Sterling, and Ronald Randall, 65, who was beaten to death in Galesburg.

The new sentences will run consecutively to each other – one after the other – and to his previous life terms.

Sheley is to be tried next in Missouri for the deaths of Arkansas couple Tom and Jill Estes. He could face the death penalty there.

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