GRAND JURY INDICTS SHELEY IN WHITESIDE COUNTY
Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Whiteside County State’s Attorney Gary L. Spencer today announced a Whiteside County Grand Jury has indicted Nicholas T. Sheley for the murder of Russell Reed, 93, in Sterling, Ill., on June 23, 2008, and for the home invasion of Janice Wilson, 90, in Sterling, Ill., on June 14, 2008.
The 14-count murder indictment includes 10 counts of first-degree murder, one count of home invasion (Class X, 6-30 years), one count of armed robbery (Class X, 6-30 years), one count of robbery (Class 1, 4-15 years) and one count of residential burglary (Class 1, 4-15 years).
The 10 counts of first-degree murder include three counts that allege the victim was more than 60 years of age and his death resulted from exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty. The State’s Attorney has 120 days after arraignment to file a Notice of Intent to Seek or Decline the Death Penalty, according to Supreme Court Rule 416.
The 3-count home invasion indictment includes one count of home invasion (Class X, 6-30 years), one count of residential burglary (Class 1, 4-15 years) and one count of robbery (Class 1, 4-15 years).
Today’s indictments will supercede the charges against Sheley previously filed in Whiteside County on June 23, 2008, and July 1, 2008, relating to these crimes.
Sheley is under indictment for the murder of Ronald Randall in Galesburg, Ill., and is currently being held in Knox County Jail. He also is charged in Missouri’s Jefferson County with murder and armed criminal action for the Festus, Mo. killings of Jill and Tom Estes of Sherwood, Ark.
Sheley remains under investigation for the murders of four people in Rock Falls, Ill.
The Whiteside County State’s Attorney and the Knox County State’s Attorney both requested the assistance of the Attorney General Madigan’s office in the prosecution of these cases.
The public is reminded that these are merely charges and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.