Suspect pleads innocent in 4 Ill. deaths

Feb. 12, 2013 at 4:38 PM
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MORRISON, Ill., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Nicholas Sheley, already convicted in two of eight 2008 killings he's accused of committing, has pleaded not guilty to four that occurred in Rock Falls, Ill.

Sheley, 33, will stand trial June 3 in the deaths of Brock Branson, 29, Branson's fiancee, Kilynna Blake, 20, her 2-year-old son Dayan and Kenneth Ulve, 25, whose bodies were found in a Rock City apartment, the Sterling Daily Gazette reported Tuesday.

Sheley is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder in the case, part of the 2008 crime spree in which he allegedly killed eight people in two states.

Last month, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the bludgeoning death of Russell Reed, 93, of Sterling, Ill., and received life without parole in the death of Ronald Randall, 65, a conviction and sentencing he had appealed in 2012, the newspaper said.

Prosecutors said Sheley killed Reed and stole his car. Reed's body was found in the trunk three days later.

Four days after Reed was found, the bodies of Branson, Blake, Ulve and Blake's son were found in Rock Falls, a town across the Rock River from Sterling. The same day, Randall's body was found behind a grocery store in Galeswood, Ill., and the bodies of a visiting Arkansas couple, Jill and Tom Estes, both 54, were found behind a gas station in Festus, Mo., the Journal Star in Peoria, Ill., reported in January.

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