Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sheley Wants To Plead Guilty To Ronald Randall's Death

Nicholas Sheley, 30, of Sterling, IL is accused of a two-state killing spree in June 2008 that left 8 people dead. He will stand trial first in Knox County, IL where he is accused of the bludgeoning death of Ronald Randall, 65, of Galesburg.

On September 29, there was a pre-trial hearing in the murder case against Sheley in Knox County. This hearing was scheduled to hear arguments about a defense motion to dismiss 16 of the 17 indictments against Sheley based on insufficient pleadings. Katfish Ponders was not able to attend that hearing, but did obtain copies of the defense motion to dismiss and the state’s response to the motion to dismiss. I uploaded the documents for those who wish to review them.

Susan Kaufman of The Register-Mail reported that defense attorney John Hanlon said the indictments need to be more specific so the defense does not have a disadvantage. The state argued it has provided the defense with more than 9,000 pages of discovery documents so neither side is at a disadvantage. “They have all the information we have at this point,” said Illinois Assistant Attorney General Stephen
Plazibat. Ninth Circuit Judge James Stewart denied the motion to dismiss charges, saying the wording in the charges was sufficient.

Kaufman also reported at the start of the hearing Nicholas Sheley said, “Your honor, I would like to change my plea to guilty.” Stewart asked if Sheley’s attorneys wanted to talk to Sheley about his guilty plea but they elected to discuss the matter after the hearing.Stewart said Sheley, accused of the bludgeoning death of Galesburg’s Ronald Randall, has a constitutional right to revoke his not guilty plea. Stewart said Sheley’s defense must file a statement within 30 days that they have had discussions with Sheley about that decision. “If he still wants to plead guilty against the wishes of his counsel which is his constitutional right, then he has every right to do so,” Stewart said. Sheley, who has criticized the legal and judicial systems in previous court appearances, laughed out loud after Stewart spoke.

This was not Sheley’s first mention of guilt. According to a Sept. 23 Sauk Valley News report, Sheley wrote a letter dated July 25, 2009, stating he intends to plead guilty to killing 93-year-old Russell Reed of Sterling. Sheley’s brother, Joshua, is accused of helping hide Reed’s body. Joshua Sheley’s trial, scheduled to begin last week, was delayed until a judge determines if Nicholas Sheley is competent to waive his right against self-incrimination and testify at his brother’s trial.Plazibat requested Sheley’s two sealed competency exams be released to Whiteside County officials so attorneys can prepare for hearings in Josh Sheley’s trial. Sheley objected to their release but Stewart said Sheley needed to file his objection in writing.

The matter will be discussed at Sheley’s next case management hearing Nov. 6. A hearing to discuss a change of venue also is scheduled for that day. Sphere: Related Content


  1. katfish,

    Thanks for the update. I keep reading your posts and shaking my head about Sheley's behavior.

    He is the ultimate lawyer's nightmare.

  2. Hello Ritanita,
    Sheley is finally out of Knox County. He is now in the custody of the IL Dept. of Corrections. It is my understanding that he will be transported to hearings by the IDOC and will no longer be a burden of Knox County....of course his lawyers still have a handful for a client. Be sure to read the recent entries, there is a lot of information and links to legal paperwork.