Thursday, March 4, 2010

Merry Christmas Letter From Nicholas Sheley (Accused Spree Killer Of 8 )

I have questioned myself whether to post this letter or not......because it is public record and accessable under The Freedom Of Information Act I have decided to go ahead and post it. I want to be clear that this is not evidence that will come into the trial and has no bearing on Nicholas Sheley's guilt or innocence. It does give a little insight into his thinking and what he thinks is funny.

I find this interesting because the hearing that Sheley describes took place on December 4, 2009, and he was still thinking about it enough to write a letter to Ninth Circuit Judge James Stewart three weeks later, and on Christmas no less.

I attended this hearing and can tell you that Bill Elward , Assistant Attorney General, who is one among several from that office assisting in the cases against Nicholas Sheley in Illinois was not, in my opinion disruptive in court. The attorneys on both sides of the aisle were frustrated. The judge did accuse them of arguing in circles and to stop it...several times....but noone was disruptive, just passionate.

There are certain rules the State and the Defense must abide by per the IL Supreme Court Rules. Because the State has the burden of proof, they seem to have more requirements as far as sharing discovery, etc....add the fact that this case is a Death Penalty case and no doubt there are more stringent rules. That doesn't mean the defense doesn't have obligations as well.

This is where the frustration seems to eminating from.....the State seems frustrated because they feel they have made their required disclosures. The State wants the defense to share the list of Expert witnesses they plan to use and a theory of defense (just in general, such as alibi, self defense, insanity (In IL there is no insanity defense, instead our state has adopted a "Guilty but Mentally Ill" verdict; however, the burden of proof is on defendant for this defense).

The Defense seems frustrated because they don't feel they should have to decide on these issues until the court has ruled what, if any, Course of Conduct ie. prior "bad acts" evidence will be allowed in the trial either during the guilt/innocence phase or in mitigation for sentencing if there is a conviction. The state doesn't want to decide how they will use this Course of Conduct evidence until they know what type of defense will be used. Jeremy Karlin, lead counsel for the Defense refers to this as the $64,000 question. Eventually the Judge will rule on this.

If you have trouble reading the letter as it is posted on the blog, here is a link to the letter on my docstock account.
Feel free to leave comments with your thoughts. Any readers trained in hand writing analysis?

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  1. Hey there Kat!

    Wow that is one tightly wound young man, I realize he is older than the letter would leave one to think but he is mentally/emotionally a very intelligent adolescent.

    He would laugh out loud as someone in the room passed gas and he would laugh the same way if someone killed a small animal in his presence. I don't think he would be terribly upset he didn't get to do the killing himself, unless someone later pointed it out. Then in private he would point out the "mistake" to the perpetrator and he would scare the willy's out of him so it would never happen again.

    This guy is one of the worst.

  2. Hey LCM!
    Very astute observations! He must have stewed for 3 weeks before he couldn't stand it anymore and finally tattled on Mr. Elward. I notice a flare for the dramatic that puts you in mind of an adolescent as well...."He LOUDLY shook his head" and "he LOUDLY pointed his finger".
    I have never seen someone loudly shake their head or point their finger. Perhaps in Sheley's head it was loud as he tried to contain himself from responding....?????
    Thanks for commenting :)

  3. Kat,

    I thought the same thing as I read this letter, how the hell do you shake your head loudly or point your finger loudly??? that is funny... again why would you write a Judge a letter like this? as I was reading I was thinking "he is calling the Judge a P***Y to his face without coming right out and saying it" like he thought the Judge should have banned Mr. Elward from the court or something....Shelly is the one that was pissed at whatever Mr.Elward was saying or doing.
    Shelly does seem Immuture, just look at his handwriting, it is like my grandson's that is in the 4th grade. I hope he gets the DP...people like this can not be helped!
    Good writing job Kat.

  4. i think its funny. sorry but it is.

  5. Tori,
    I don't know what level of school Sheley made it through. I didn't think of him as admonishing the judge by writing the letter, but you could be right....if so, he needs to knock it off....this guy has been more than fair to him.
    Even if Sheley gets the death penalty in IL he will probably die from old age before execution because IL has a moritorium on the death penalty. I hear MO has no problem carrying it out though.(He's accused of killing 2 people in MO)
    Thanks for stopping by. ;)

  6. Anon March 9,
    It's ok if you think it's funny, no need to apologize.

  7. Hey Kat and Tori, I thought he was attempting to rub elbows and share with the judge - man to man... but I did love the loud pointing and gesturing. (I kinda think smother mother's PD tries to gesture loudly too; )

    I suppose that he spread himself around to commit these heinous crimes is a small favor, if one state won't put him down, another one will. He can't be saved from extradition because of the DP can he?

    Too bad they didn't send his worthless butt to MO to begin with, no point in all these tax dollars wasted if he could be found guilty and sentenced to death right off the bat. Although if they had gone that route he would have insisted on clearing his name before being given the needle.

    How did they decide who got first dibs on him, do you know?

  8. Hello LCM,
    Sheley is actually pretty clever, he wanted AAG Elward's behavior (his perception of it anyway, I was there, both sides were arguing in circles.I couldn't swear the defense was pointing and shaking their heads loudly but I couldn't swear the state was either.LOL)put on the record and because of his letter it now is a part of the record.
    The problem with the DP and extradition arises when another country that doesn't accept the DP (for instance Mexico) and won't send someone here to face the DP. I've never heard of a problem within the states even though not all states have the DP.
    That is a good question who got first dibs on him. I believe there was a LOT of discussion, the "alleged" spree began in Whiteside County, Sheley is from there and 5 people(ages 2yrs-93 yrs.) died there. The last people (a nice couple, 54 years old)were killed in Missouri but he was apprehended across state line back in IL. I believe the reason Knox County got first crack at him was because they have the strongest evidence. Sheley is accused of stealing the truck of the man he killed here. He "allegedly" then went back to Whiteside in the truck, killed 4 of the 5 victims there and then took the truck to MO killed the couple and caught a Cardinals baseball game before he dumped the truck. The truck had OnStar so they were able to track it and there was DNA in the truck connected to some of the other deaths.