Drug Addiction Motivates Crime In Whiteside County - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Drug Addiction Motivates Crime In Whiteside County

Updated: Oct 9, 2012 06:30 PM CDT
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Jury selection for Nicholas Sheley's Whiteside County murder trial begins in less than two weeks. Tuesday, Sheley was in court for a pretrial hearing.

The judge heard evidence that the prosecution plans to show in court. The prosecution plans to show drug addiction and lack of money to buy drugs as a motive for Sheley to murder Russell Reed, back in 2008.

The Whiteside County Sheriff tells us there are approximately 120 inmates in county jail right now. Roughly 20 of those inmates are sex offenders, but Sheriff Kelly Wilhelmi says the rest of the inmates are behind bars for crimes directly because of, or fueled by, drugs.

"Drugs and alcohol fuel just about every crime that we have," said Wilhelmi. He said most of the inmates currently in Whiteside County Jail committed a crime motivated, somehow, by drugs --

"Aggravated batteries, assaults, domestic abuse, domestic violence along with more serious crimes, like murders," said Wilhelmi. "We see it with every violent crime that comes through here, it is because of that."

Sheriff Wilhelmi said thefts and burglaries are on the rise in Whiteside County. Many of the crimes are happening in broad daylight.

"I think it's all fueled by drugs," bravery caused by drug addiction he said. "It makes you do things that you wouldn't normally do. Earlier this year we had a guy get out of jail, you could tell he was having withdrawals, and the first thing he did was walk across the street from the courthouse to the grocery store and stole some alcohol."

Many times, law enforcement doesn't know a criminal is fiending for drugs or alcohol when they make an arrest.

"They start having a violent physical withdrawal from this," said Wilhelmi. It's something they typically find out soon after that criminal becomes an inmate.

The jury selection for Nicholas Sheley's Whiteside County trial begins October 22.

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