Witness in Sheley trial: “They’re gone, they’re all dead”

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Day one of testimony in the Nicholas Sheley murder trial included the parents of one of the victims who found their only son's body, along with three others.

Sheley is on trial in Rock Island for the June 2008 murders of Brock Branson, Ky Blake, her 2-year-old son Dayan, and Kenneth Ulve.

The first two witnesses were Connie and Dallas Branson of Rock Falls who testified they went to check on their son after phone calls went unreturned for 2 days.

"I was getting very worried because it kept going to voicemail," said Mrs. Branson, while on the witness stand Monday.

She said she and her husband went to the apartment complex in Rock Falls, and he went upstairs and found the door open, and the bodies inside.

"I looked down and saw Ky and the top of her head and she wasn't moving and she was covered in blood. I hollered and said Brock but no no answer, then I really got nervous. I looked up a little farther and I seen two little legs. I said, 'They're gone. They're all dead. They're all dead,'" Mr. Branson told the jury.

In opening statements made earlier in the day, prosecutors said DNA evidence found at the scene, including a cigarette, links Sheley to the crimes. They also showed jurors a photo taken of Sheley in Missouri after the murders, wearing Brock Branson's Bears shirt.

The trial was moved from Whiteside County to Rock Island because of concerns over pre-trial publicity.

Sheley's already been convicted in two murders, and is accused of killing two more in Missouri.

Testimony resumes Tuesday.