St. Louis Public Radio News
7:59 am
Fri September 12, 2008

Sheley unhappy with attorneys, claims mental fitness for trial

Galesburg, Ill. – A man suspected of eight killings in Illinois and Missouri says he's not happy with his attorneys, but has told a judge he is mentally fit to stand trial.

Nicholas Sheley told a court in Knox County, Ill. that he's been "blown off" by his public defenders.

He also said a fitness hearing isn't necessary because he knows the charges and their consequences.

Judge James Stewart told Sheley his options are to hire a private attorney or to represent himself.

Sheley has been charged with murder in the death of 65-year-old Ronald Randall of Galesburg, Illinois - who was killed in June. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in that case.

Sheley also faces charges in the deaths of a 93-year-old man in northern Illinois, and an Arkansas couple found dead in Festus, Mo.

Sheley is a suspect in four other murders in Illinois as well.