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|Sheley Conviction One of Top Stories of 2011
|An end three-and-a-half years in the making was one of our top local stories of 2011.
Accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley was convicted in September of the death of 65-year old Ronald Randall -- one of eight murders in two states he's accused of committing in late-June of 2008.
At the time of the conviction, one of Randall's friends, Jim Spellman, told WGIL he wasn't ready for celebrating yet.
"It's not over yet," Spellman said. "We've still got Whiteside County and Missouri to go yet. But, I feel like we've taken a big step. And, I think, we're seeing justice done."
But then, just two months later, there was some celebration by members of Randall's family, after Sheley was sentenced to life in prison -- a sentence that Judge James Stewart has declined to reconsider.
Knox County State's Attorney John Pepmeyer, reading from a statement, wasn't ready to take the moment away from the family.
"Today was the Randall family's day," Pepmeyer said. "It's their day -- what we all geared for all along. You heard [during victim impact statements] their emotions, you heard their sentiments, you heard their feelings. They got to speak today."
Randall's daughter said she felt the devil was waiting for Sheley.
But the wait for the second trial continues. Sheley will stand trial in March for the death of 93-year old Russell Reed of Sterling; this, after a judge in Whiteside County recently denied a change of venue request due to pre-trial publicity -- something also unsuccessfully tried in Knox County.
(Attorneys and family members of 65-year old Ronald Randall release white and blue balloons into the air November 18th, after Nicholas Sheley was sentenced to life in prison for Randall's death. WGIL News Story and Photo by Will Stevenson.)
|12 29 11 by Newsroom
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