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|FIRST ON WGIL: Prosecutors in Sheley Murder Case Dispute Change of Venue Request
|FIRST REPORTED 6:00am 8/26/09 It was said by both sets of attorneys in the Knox County case against accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley that a change of venue was needed. But if you read the most recent set of filings, one side doesn't necessarily think that.
The state Friday filed its response to the defense motion seeking a change of venue - the day such a response was due.
The defense claims an impartial jury can't be found in Knox County in order for Sheley to be tried on ten first-degree murder charges and a half-dozen other felonies for the death of 65-year old Ronald Randall.
They also claim that local media reports on Randall's death were biased and inaccurate.
The state's problem, they say, is that a supplemental defense motion largely cites publicity from September of 2008.
They say when the trial starts as early as the summer of 2010, a juror likely won't have much recollection of it.
Plus, the state claims there's no way to determine how exposed Knox County residents actually were to the coverage.
They say a second supplemental motion cites more recent coverage, but most appears to be from year-in-review reports or stories marking the one-year anniversary of the death - both things WGIL and the Register-Mail, for example, did.
The state also says that in that motion, twice as many excerpts are from media outlets representing Whiteside County, where the alleged killing spree started, than from Knox County outlets.
Prosecutors also contend that the defense's telephone poll of residents indicates that most don't recall much about Randall's murder, if anything.
Judge James Stewart will hold a hearing on the change of venue November 6th.
(Nicholas Sheley is led out of the Knox County Jail in 2008. WGIL News File Photo.)
|08 26 09 by Newsroom
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