Sheley Found Guilty - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Sheley Found Guilty

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Asst. Attorney General Michael Atterberry Asst. Attorney General Michael Atterberry
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The jury in the trial for the murder of Russell Reed has found Nicholas Sheley guilty of 1st degree murder, home invasion and burglary.

Jurors heard closing arguments Tuesday morning in a courtroom packed with people.

The family of Russell Reed of Sterling, who was beaten to death, sat in the courtroom along with families of other victims as the prosecutor spent more than an hour summarizing evidence presented in court last week. Assistant Attorney General Michael Atterberry painted a picture of Nicholas Sheley as an alcoholic and drug addict who would do anything to feed his habit.

He then described the victim, 93-year-old Russell Reed as a generous and caring man who lived alone. The prosecutor spent time linking testimony from evidence found in Reed's home to witnesses who saw Sheley driving Reed's car and others who saw Sheley with blood on his clothing.

"Russell had been kind and helpful to the Sheleys. He had allowed them to use one of his wagons to haul scrap. We know now how the defendant repaid Reed's kindness. 18 different blows to Mr. Reed, sustained, clear intent to kill Mr. Reed. Intent to kill has been proven in this case, beyond a reasonable doubt," Atterberry said.

Defense attorney Jeremy Karlin began closing arguments by disputing scientists who testified on DNA evidence in the case, saying they aren't that qualified.

"There's no actual proof that Nick committed this crime. There's no one here that can say that he did it and frankly some of this evidence actually points to other people," Karlin argued.

Sheley is accused of killing 8 people in June of 2008. He has already been convicted of murder in Knox County. He faces more charges in Whiteside County and in Missouri.