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|Sheley Trial 12pm Update: Only One Trial
|A Knox County Judge has ruled that two trials will not be necessary in the Knox County murder case of Nicholas Sheley.
Knox County Circuit Court Judge James Stewart Tuesday morning denied a motion filed by defense attorney Jeremy Karlin to have what's called a "bifurcated" trial.
Essentialy, that's a request to have two separate trials: one that would have determined whether or not the 32-year old Sheley did indeed kill 65-year old Ronald Randall, and another to determine if the acts were brutal and heinous to warrant an extended sentence.
Prosecutors have said they intend to seek such a sentence, which could include natural life in prison, if Sheley is found guilty, now that the state has banned the use of the death penalty.
Karlin suggested that the state may present prejudicial evidence at trial, as was evidenced in Monday's discussion about crime scene and autopsy photos.
In denying the request, and siding with prosecutors, Stewart says he doesn't believe a jury would learn anything new in the second trial than in the first, determining that the trial would be "unitary."
Stewart also denied the use of two more photos, saying he thoguht about them overnight, and decided that they would be as inflammatory as the autopsy photos he denied the use of Tuesday.
Court is in recess until 1:30pm, at which time jury questioning will begin. Another motion filed by Karlin will be taken up Tuesday afternoon as well, relating to what he can talk to his client about regarding pre-trial publicity.
WGIL'S Will Stevenson is the only Galesburg reporter who has covered the case from the very beginning, and will have frequent updates on WGIL, WGIL.COM, and twitter.com/WGILNews.
|08 30 11 by Newsroom
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