Pathologist at Sheley Trial: Hammer Was Weapon

(Nicholas Sheley. File Photo.)

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — A forensic pathologist testified during the third day of the trial of a 34-year-old Sterling man accused in the deaths of eight people in a 2008 crime spree.

Nicholas Sheley is on trial, accused in the deaths of 29-year-old Brock Branson; 20-year-old Kilynna Blake; her 2-year-old son, Dayan; and 25-year-old Kenneth Ulve. Forensic pathologist Mark Peters testified Wednesday, saying all four victims died of blunt force trauma to the head. Sheley has pleaded not guilty.

The Daily Gazette in Sterling reports that Peters said the weapon was a hammer, causing fractures to the victims’ skulls.

Sheley still faces trial in the deaths of an Arkansas couple found dead in Missouri. He is serving two life sentences for the deaths of a Galesburg man and Sterling resident.

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