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|WGIL EXCLUSIVE: Judge Questions DOC Involvement in Sheley Case
|FIRST REPORTED 2:00pm 5/19/10 The judge presiding over the Knox County case against accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley is so far okay with a State Supreme Court ruling that tossed out a decision he made almost two months ago in the case.
A last-minute hearing was held on the matter Wednesday morning in Knox County Circuit Court -- one that the defense argued should be closed to be the media, but Judge James Stewart turned down.
At issue was Illinois Attorney General's Office lawyers intervening on behalf of the State Department of Corrections, asking that Sheley not be transported somewhere for some sort of test the defense wants performed. The type of test was not disclosed in court, in part, because it may play into defense strategy.
Stewart okayed the test being done April first. But, the DOC did not enter an appearance in the case until a month later, Stewart says, and instead of filing an objection, got an emergency order from the State Supreme Court.
The State Supreme Court struck down the part of the order allowing Sheley to be transported, but Stewart says he believes they did not strike down the part that would keep the move confidential.
Stewart Wednesday asked the defense and the attorneys representing the Department of Corrections to file their opinions regarding whether or not Sheley can be transported for certain testing on what is called an ex-parte.basis -- that is, without the prosecution being involved.
Stewart says he doesn't believe the DOC has any standing in the case other than if the agency objects due to safety concerns or the cost of transportation, and he said perhaps the Supreme Court can intervene again if needed.
Sheley faces a dozen-and-a-half felony murder and other charges for the June, 2008 death of 65-year old Ronald Randall, part of a suspected two-state killing spree.
Another hearing in the case is scheduled for June 11th.
(Nicholas Sheley. File photo courtesy Illinois Department of Corrections.)
|05 19 10 by Newsroom
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