Judge greenlights first trial in August for accused spree killer

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Three years to the month, a Knox county judge has agreed to allow accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley to be represented by the public defender he fired in 2008.

Sheley is still set to go to trial August 29th in the death of Ron Randall of Galesburg. Prosecutors say the retired factory worker was killed for his car outside a Galesburg car wash, in an 8-victim, two-state crime spree in the summer of 2008.

In court Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors with the Illinois Attorney General’s office accused Sheley of legal’ ”gameplaying”, but said they wouldn’t fight the re-appointment of state public defender Jeremy Karlin, as long as the trial stayed on track for August 29th.

”If he wants a trial, he can have a trial. We will be ready for trial August 29th. There’s not a prisoner in the history of Illinois who’s received the kind of accomodations he has”, said the special prosecutor.

Up until the 11th hour, Sheley fought to represent himself in his upcoming first trial.

On Friday, in hand-written letters to the judge, he asked for the public defender back. Today the unconventional motion was granted.

Friends of Mr. Randall, who have attended nearly every court hearing the past three years say they hope the August trial remains a go.

”I want to see justice done, and I want to see it behind us”, said James Spellman, who used to work with Randall at Maytag.

Two of the prosecution’s witnesses have passed away in the three years it’s taken to get the case to trial.

Last month, Knox County bought $1,000 worth of computers and software to help Sheley prepare his own defense.