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|Sheley Found Guilty of Jailhouse Assault, But Not Before Plenty of Jury Questions
|A Knox County jury has found accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley guilty of committing an assault at the Knox County Jail in mid-April, but during the four hours of deliberations Wednesday, and while Sheley implied to courtroom observers before a verdict he thought he'd be convicted, there was some doubt for a time whether or not he'd be found guilty of all the charges.
The jury sent several questions to Judge Stephen Mathers during the course of their deliberations on Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault, and Criminal Damage charges -- two of which dealt with problems they were having coming to a consensus on one of Battery counts -- one that alleges he punched Knox County Sheriffs Deputy Sergeant Scott Cordle, in addiition to throwing metal chair legs at other deputies when they entered a jail pod he was in April 17th.
The jurors wondered what happened if they couldn't come to a consensus on the count, and if that would make the other counts not valid. Knox County Assistant State's Attorney Matthew Kwacala tells WGIL he doesn't usually think about things like that.
"I never try to guess what a jury was thinking inside the room," Kwacala said. "It's 12 different people. Without being in there, who knows what they were thinking."
Public Defender Jim Harrell tells WGIL it just means the jury was trying to be thorough. "This wasn't a jury that just went right back (to the jury room), came right back (to open court) with a decision," Harrell said. "There were three questions, so there were a lot of issues being discussed back there by all of them. We don't know the context of what those discussions went into."
That might smack in the face of how Sheley felt about the jurors, saying during a recess that it seemed to him that 90-percent of the jurors either knew State's Attorney John Pepmeyer or one of the deputies who were believed to be assaulted.
Sentencing is October 30th.
(Nicholas Sheley. WGIL News File Photo.)
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