Jury finds woman guilty in fatal Rock Falls stabbing

A Whiteside County jury Friday convicted a Rock Falls woman in the 2019 stabbing death of 53-year-old Tracy A. Russell.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:03 PM CDT
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ROCK FALLS, Ill. (KWQC) - A Whiteside County jury Friday convicted a Rock Falls woman in the 2019 stabbing death of 53-year-old Tracy A. Russell.

Court records show the jury deliberated about two hours before finding Nichole R. Elsesser, 47, guilty of first-degree murder on the fifth day of her trial.

She will be sentenced Oct. 28.

Just after 1:20 a.m. Dec. 15, 2019, the Whiteside County 911 Center received a report of a stabbing in the 22000 block of Brooks Road in rural Rock Falls.

According to deputies, officers found Russell dead on the front porch. An autopsy conducted the next day determined he died from multiple stab wounds.

Whiteside County detectives along with Illinois State Police investigators and the Whiteside County Coroner’s Office launched an investigation into Russell’s death.

On Dec. 17, 2019, Elsesser was charged with first- and second-degree murder. The second-degree murder charge was later dismissed.

According to officials with the Whiteside County Sheriff’s Office, Elsesser said she and Russell were “best friends.”

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