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|FIRST ON WGIL: Sheley Found Guilty in Jailhouse Assault Trial
|FIRST REPORTED 3:49pm, UPDATED 4:40pm 9/23/09 A Knox County jury has found accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley guilty of committing an assault on employees of the Knox County Jail several months ago.
A seven-woman, five-man jury found the 30-year old Sterling man guilty of three-counts of Aggravated Battery, one-count of Aggravated Assault, and one-count of Criminal Damage to Government-Supported Property, following four-hours of deliberations Wednesday, that started after Sheley opted not to testify in his own defense, causing the defense to present no evidence.
Knox County Assistant State's Attorney Matthew Kwacala was the lead prosecutor, and tells WGIL the jury did the right thing.
"I felt we had a strong case," Kwacala said. "I think our witnesses were credible, and we had good evidence."
Knox County Public Defender Jim Harrell, whom Sheley made clear outside of the jury's presence he wasn't pleased with, tells WGIL he still believes the jury took their work seriously. "I think the jury took a lot of time in considering what was before them," Harrell said. "That tells me they listened to all the evidence, went through it closely. Obviously, if the jury takes that long (to deliberate), a significant period of time, it's something we may want to look about doing a motion for a new trial or an appeal on."
Sheley allegedly tore apart a metal chair, throwing its legs at deputies who had entered his jail pod April 17th, after guards noticed the security camera and a window there had been covered up. Sheley also is accused of punching another deputy.
Sheley had choice words for Harrell throughout the proceedings, saying at one point, "No private attorney would represent me like you did," among other things.
Circuit Judge Stephen Mathers has set sentencing for October 30th. Sheley will be back in court next week for a hearing on a motion to dismiss the murder charges filed against him locally for the death of 65-year old Ronald Randall last year, part of a suspected two-state killing spree.
(Nicholas Sheley leaves the Knox County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon after being found guilty. WGIL News Story by Will Stevenson. Photos by Dominic Fortini.)
|09 24 09 by Newsroom
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