Sheley jury picked, testimony Friday
After three years of legal maneuvering and many delays, accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley goes on trial tomorrow for the murder of Ronald Randall of Galesburg.
On Thursday afternoon, a jury and four alternates were picked to hear the case and were warned of upcoming graphic crime scene photos taken the day Randall was beaten to death at a Galesburg car wash.
Prosecutors say they will prove the 65-year old retired Maytag worker was killed by Sheley, and his car stolen in a 2-week crime spree that ended with 8 people dead in the summer of 2008.
”I want to see justice done”, said Jim Spellman, a close friend of Randall. ”He killed my friend, I’ll be glad to get it behind us. I think he’s guilty, but he’s innocent until proven guilty”, he said after court Thursday.
Sheley took notes during the week-long jury selection, while sitting next to his court-appointed attorney. \
Security is unprecedented inside the Knox County Courthouse, with at least 7 armed guards inside the courtroom.
Sheley is un-shackled and un-handcuffed when in front of the jury, but Chief Security Officer Scott Condle is equipped with a remote-controlled taser in case of any trouble. Sheley is wearing the device on his leg.
”It’s called a stun bandit, a device similar to a taser. It basically sends a shock through the body and basically it stops you in your spot”, Condle said outside of court during a break.
The hand held device is about the size of garage-door opener and can send 8 second shocks, 9 on one charge.
Opening statements will start Friday morning, with testimony to follow.