Halloween In Court - No Tricks, No Treats
Guest Entry by katfish!
Friday ( October 31), I attended another case management conference in the case of accused spree killer Nicholas Sheley in Galesburg, IL. Sheley is facing 17 charges in the death of Ronald Randall, 65 of Galesburg. If convicted and aggravating factors are found, Sheley will face the death penalty. After Knox County is done with Sheley, he moves onto Whiteside County to face charges in the death of 5 more people there, and then....down to Missouri to face charges in 2 more deaths.
I'm not much of a "morning person"anyway, but this morning I had to push harder than usual to get myself going. I haven't slept well since I began researching the events leading up to, and a timeline of, the killing spree that took place in June. It is unsettling to go through this sequence of events and exhausting because I have tried to include info that I find from more than 1 source. I don't want to sound as though I'm complaining about the task, at all, it's just my focus has been mostly on the court proceedings in Ronald Randall's case. It's mind boggling how many lives are forever changed or ended and how harsh life can be. I will get back to work on the timeline after I finish this court entry:
When I enter the Knox County courthouse it's about 9:30, the hearing is scheduled to start at 10 am. As I make my way through security I say hello to a friend who is a bailiff and make my way up the wide staircase leading to the second floor. Oh oh, I see some of Ronald Randall's family sitting in some chairs across from the stairwell. That definitely means the courtroom isn't open yet, hope it doesn't mean the hearing is changed. (Halloween is a big deal in katfish land....I have things to get done....before the spooks come.)
After saying hello to Ronald's family, I go to the other end of the hall and peek in the blinds of the courtroom. The court reporter is setting up her stuff but the lights aren't on, so I wait. Sheriff David Clague comes around the staircase and heads up to the third floor. The States Attorney's offices are up there, probably giving them a heads up. When the Sheriff is here, it usually means that Sheley is in the building. As he climbs the stairs I see the lights are on in the courtroom and the court reporter steps out. I ask if it's OK to go in and she says sure.
I let Ronald's family know the courtroom was open and we head in. They sit in the front row and I sit on the aisle in the second row. It doesn't take long and people start coming in. Friends of Ronald go around behind me and sit at the other end of the second row. The Administrative Assistant for the Public Defender, James Harrell comes in with two men in suits, and they sit right behind me. She is wearing jeans and a thermal shirt that says" scary " in spooky lettering. I assume the guys are lawyers because one said he was going to go dressed tonight as an attorney drinking beer. I couldn't resist, I asked him, and how much of a stretch is that? He said tonight?...not much. LOL Continue reading at katfish ponders...
Sorry it took so long to get this up, katfish! I've been pretty exhausted covering Spector.