Victim’s daughter-in-law to Sheley: “You are an animal”

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Accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, his second life sentence in connection with 8 murders during the summer of 2008.

Sheley declined to make a statement in the Whiteside County courtroom Wednesday.

He was convicted last year of robbing and beating to death 93-year old Russell Reed, a man who used to give odds and ends to Sheley to sell because he knew he needed the money.

"You are an animal. The rage that you, Nicholas Sheley, had to have to cause the kind of harm you caused to this 93-year old man! There was no reason to hurt him. He couldn't have hurt you even if he wanted to'', said Bonnie Reed, the victim's daughter-in-law.

She read her victim's impact statement, sometimes looking directly at Sheley, who didn't look back.

"A stupid young kid after drugs and money, that's what you were before you committed murder. That's when all hell broke loose'', said Reed.

"To do what you did and then put him in the trunk of his own car in that heat, with all the bugs, is exactly what should happen to you. We hopefully pray he was dead before you put him in his own car trunk" she read.

Testimony at trial showed Sheley beat the man to death, took money and checks, and stole his car, putting Reed's body in the trunk. He then used the money to buy beer, cigarettes and crack, right after the crime.

Sheley will retain defense attorney Jeremy Karlin for his next trial, for the murders of four people in Rock Falls, including a two-year old boy. That's tentatively set for June 3.

Whiteside County States Attorney Trish Joyce will handle the prosecution with the help of the Illinois Attorney General's office.

Joyce says despite Sheley's life sentence in Knox County for the murder of Ronald Randall, and the life sentence for the killing of Mr. Reed, the county is moving ahead with another trial.

"How do you tell the family of these four victims that their case is not worth trying? How do you handle the case if these convictions would be overturned on appeal?, Joyce said.

"These need to be tried for the families, for the community, to ensure justice is done."

Two other victims were killed in Missouri. There's no word on plans for prosecution in that state, which has the death penalty.

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