Judge sentences Nicholas Sheley to life in prison

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Nicolas Sheley was sentenced November 18, 2011 in Knox County Court to life in prison for the murder of Ronald Randall.

Sheley previously waived his right to have the jury decide his sentence, so sentencing fell to Judge James Stewart.

The hearing lasted several hours, and included three items on which Judge Stewart ruled.

First, the judge denied a defense motion for a new trial in the case.

Second, the judge ruled on the findings of fact, saying overwhelming evidence shows Sheley’s actions were both brutal and heinous, making him eligible for the extended term of life in prison.

Finally, based on a jury finding Sheley guilty of three charges related to Mr. Randall’s murder, Judge Stewart handed down a sentence met with applause by the victim’s family and friends in the courtroom.

Judge Stewart sentenced Sheley to the maximum seven years in prison for stealing a vehicle; the maximum of 30 years in prison for aggravated hijacking of a vehicle and to life in prison without the possibility of parole on the first-degree murder conviction.

Sheley was handcuffed and silent at the sentencing hearing.

Sheley’s trial for the murder of 93-year-old Russell Reed is scheduled to begin March 5, 2012 in Whiteside County, Illinois.