Friday, February 26, 2010

A Look At The New Make Up Of Nicholas Sheley's Defense Team

On January 15, 2010, the court appointed lead counsel for alleged spree killer Nicholas T. Sheley, Public defender James Harrell, filed a motion with the Circuit Court for the Ninth Judicial District in Knox County, IL to withdraw from Sheley's capital murder case for the death of Ronald Randall,65, of Galesburg,IL.

Nicholas Sheley is a 30 year old man from Sterling, IL who is accused of going on a week-long crime and killing spree in the last week of June 2008. Sheley has been charged in a 17 count indictment that includes 10 counts of first-degree murder as well as 7 other charges for various other offenses related to Ronald Randall's bludgeoning death in Galesburg, IL. Sheley is also accused of of committing 5 murders in Whiteside County, IL and 2 murders in Festus, MO. If convicted in Knox County the state will seek the death penalty.

On February 19, Ninth Circuit Judge James Stewart granted Public Defender James Harrell's motion to withdraw from the case. After a 50 minute closed hearing between Stewart, the defense attorneys and the defendant, Stewart calling the motion unusual, said he does find there is a "breakdown of communication" between Nicholas Sheley and James Harrell.

Judge Stewart approved Jeremy Karlin as lead counsel, adding Karlin has been lead counsel de-facto, now it is official. I agree with the judge's statement because Karlin has been the counsel that has presented motions and argument during all of the hearings I have attended. To replace Karlin as co-counsel, Stewart approved local attorney Anthony Vaupel for that position.

Vaupel is the only other attorney in Knox County who is a member of the Capital Litigation Trial Bar, a necessity in IL to try capital cases. John Hanlon from the Office of the State Appellate Defender is still assisting the defense.

I have found that sometimes when you get someone (or something) because they(or it ) are the only one left you can end up with the bad apple (so to speak), not so in the case of Anthony Vaupel. He has a good reputation in Knox County. Katfishponders has provided information on James Harrell and Knox County State's Attorney John Pepmeyer in an earlier entry so I thought it would be good to give you some background on the current defense lawyers in this case.

Lead Counsel- Jeremy Karlin

Jeremy S. Karlin is a member of the law firm Alcorn Karlin ,LLC and focuses his practice in the areas of criminal and civil trial practice, domestic relations/family law, mediation and worker’s compensation. Mr. Karlin was born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1969, and raised in Fairport, New York. He received his bachelor of arts degree at Syracuse University in 1991 and his jurisdoctorate degree at Loyola University of Chicago in 1994, where he was a member of the Loyola Moot Court Team and a recent cases editor of the Consumer Law Review. Mr. Karlin is admitted to the Illinois and the Wisconsin State Bars and is a member of the Knox County, Illinois State and Wisconsin Bar Associations. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association General Assembly. Mr. Karlin served as an Assistant Knox County State’s Attorney from 1995 to 1997 before joining the firm. Mr. Karlin has been certified by the Illinois Supreme Court as Lead Counsel in the Capital Litigation Trial Bar. He has been certified by the Ninth Judicial Circuit to serve as a mediator in child custody and visitation disputes.

Co-Counsel- Anthony Vaupel

Anthony W. ("Tony") Vaupel, originally from Burlington, Iowa, is an associate in the law firm Barash and Everette, LLC in the Galesburg office. Tony earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from Knox College where he focused his studies on body language. He received his law degree from Ohio Northern University. After receiving his license to practice law in the State of Illinois, Tony worked as an assistant state's attorney in Fulton County and then in private practice. Later, he served over two years as a Knox County assistant public defender where he tried a variety of cases. In less than four years of practice he has participated in 17 jury trials and countless bench trials. Tony is an officer of the Knox County Bar Association and serves on the oversight committee for the Knox County Teen Court program.
BORN: Burlington, Iowa, September 17, 1974.
ADMITTED TO BAR: 2001, Illinois; also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois.
EDUCATION: Carl Sandburg College (A.A., 1996); Knox College (B.A., 1998); Ohio Northern University (J.D., 2001).
MEMBER: Knox County Bar Association (Vice-President); Illinois State Bar Association.
PRACTICE AREAS: Bankruptcy, Criminal, Estate Planning & Administration, Family, Juvenile, Personal Injury.

Assisting Counsel- John Hanlon
I don't have a picture of John Hanlon. He appears to be in his mid to late 50's. Mr. Hanlon is from the Office of the State Appellate Defender (OSAD)in the Capital Trial Assistance Unit(CTAU) in the Springfield office. The Capital Trial Assistance Unit is staffed with attorneys who provide trial assistance in death penalty cases in which the defendant is indigent. The unit also provides assistance by expert witnesses, investigators, and mitigation specialists. The mission of this office is to ensure that indigent defendants facing the death penalty receive the assistance of zealous, dedicated attorneys armed with resources adequate to properly investigate and defend their cases at trial and at sentencing.
Katfishponders thinks John Hanlon has a very impressive resume.....Hanlon began his legal career in 1983 as a staff attorney with the Illinois State Appellate Defender’s Office. Shortly after taking that position, John and co-counsel Tim Gabrielsen landed the assignment of defending Rolando Cruz, following Cruz’s 1985 conviction and death sentence for the murder of Jeanine Nicarico. In 1988, John and his co-counsel persuaded the Illinois Supreme Court to reverse Cruz’s conviction. When Cruz was convicted a second time and sent back to death row in 1990, John recruited a young lawyer by the name of Larry Marshall, a new professor at Northwestern Law School, to work with him on Cruz’s second appeal. That was the beginning of the Innocence Project movement in Illinois. The two succeeded in getting Cruz’s conviction vacated a second time. The third trial resulted in the dramatic acquittal of Rolando Cruz after it was revealed that two detectives had fabricated a "vision" confession. William Kunkel as appointed as special prosecutor, leading to the indictment of police and prosecutors who were known as the DuPage 7. On Jul 28, 2009 Brian Dugan pled guilty to killing Jeanine Nicarico, therefore Cruz had been wrongly convicted 2 times before being aquitted.
John’s work on the case of Joe Burrows and Randy Steidl contributed to their release from death row, and the Burrows case was cited by Gov. Ryan when he announced a moratorium on capital punishment. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at UIS teaching a class called Wrongful Convictions.

There is no doubt in katfishponders mind that Nicholas Sheley will have a very able team of attorneys working his case and will receive a vigorous defense and a fair trial in Knox County. I will do an entry at another time on the attorneys from the IL Attorney General's office who are assisting the State's Attorney in the prosecution of Nicholas Sheley. For now I'm about half way through the entry for the February 19 pretrial hearing mentioned here, I'll post that soon.

Click here to see more information about the relationship between Sheley and Harrell. For complete coverage of this case at katfishponders click here. There are a lot of entries so you will have to go beyond the first page, they are arranged newest to oldest. You can also click on the names under the label section on the right side of the page.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment