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|Death Penalty Dropped in Sheley Case, Sheley Asks to Represent Self
|The capitol murder case against accused murderer Nicholas Sheley in Knox County has been decertified to a regular murder trial.
State's Attorney John Pepmeyer said during a case management hearing Tuesday the state no longer sees the death penalty as an available remedy due to the fact that earlier this month Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation banning the death penalty, a law which goes into effect July first.
Pepmeyer also said they would be agreeable to finally setting a trial date of September 19th, nearly three years after Sheley was accused in the death of 65 year old Galesburg resident Ronald Randall.
That trial date, however, is far from set in stone, as the defense filed an unexpected motion to allow Sheley to represent himself in the case.
Defense Attorney Jeremy Karlin filed the motion on Sheley's behalf, saying he only just learned of the defendant's intention moments before the hearing.
Sheley has before requested that he be able to represent himself, but was dissuaded from the idea, and even denied the ability in a separate court case that dealt with assault of jail employees.
Because the case has been decertified, part of the defense team could be removed from the case. Anthony Vaupel's contract as a defense attorney will be void because it is no longer a capital murder case. Karlin says he intends to file a motion to have Vaupel reappointed to the case under a new contract.
A hearing is set for April 25th to determine Sheley's ability to represent himself in the case. He also faces half a dozen other felony charges in Knox County and is accused of murders in Whiteside County and Missouri.
|03 30 11 by Newsroom
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