Sheley Trial Day 1: Parents of Victim Testify - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Sheley Trial Day 1: Parents of Victim Testify

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Jury selection is done and opening statements have started. Nicholas Sheley is accused of killing four people in Rock Falls in 2008, but this trial is taking place in Rock Island County, moved there on a change of venue.

Today was Day 1 for Sheley's third trial in Illinois.

This morning Sheley's attorney Jeremy Karlin asked once again for a change of venue saying the jury pool was tainted because too many people knew about the trial in this area.

Judge Jeffrey O'Connor denied the motion for a mistrial and opening statements for the trial began this afternoon.

To start out the trial, Assistant Attorney's General Bill Elward described to the jury what happened almost 6 years ago to four people who were beaten to death in Rock Falls, IL.

Elward presented some DNA evidence that he said connects the "trail of evidence" back to Sheley.

Here's what Sheley's attorney had to say in his opening statement to the jury:

"You are not permitted to begin deliberating at this point, you must keep an open mind throughout," said Karlin. "If you think he's guilty now after listening to the opening statements of counsel, then you are not following the law."

After opening statements by the attorneys, the first two witness were brought to the stand: Connie and Dallas Branson, who are the parents of one of the victims.

Connie Branson described how her husband discovered their son, Brock Branson dead and other victims in Brock's apartment in Rock Falls.

"He came back and he was panicked. Dallas was," said Connie. "He came back and said, they're dead. They're dead."

"I hollered and I said Brock. There was no answer," said Dallas. "Then I really got nervous. Then I slammed the down and ran down the stairs.">

After the Branson's testified, two officers from Rock Falls Police Department, including a detective who initially saw the victims in the apartment, took the stand.

Tomorrow, the trial will resume for Day 2 at 9 AM.

Sheley has already been convicted of killing two other men. Investigators claim Sheley went on a killing spree in 2008, killing a total of eight people.

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