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Illinois man accused in 2-state killing spree won’t testify

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

MORRISON – An Illinois man accused in a two-state killing spree that left eight people dead told a judge Monday that he won’t testify at his trial in the slaying of a 93-year-old man.

Closing arguments were scheduled for today in Nicholas Sheley’s trial in the death of Russell Reed.

Sheley’s defense attorneys chose not to call any witnesses.

Sheley, 33, is accused of killing eight people in Illinois and Missouri in 2008.

He has pleaded not guilty in Whiteside County in Reed’s death.

Sheley already has been sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of bludgeoning a 65-year-old Galesburg man to death.

He faces trials in six other deaths and another life sentence if he is convicted in Reed’s death.

Prosecutors say Sheley was desperate for money to buy crack cocaine when he killed Reed and stole his wallet.

Prosecutors allege Sheley killed Reed in his home on June 23, 2008, then also stole his car. Reed’s body was found in the trunk of his car three days later.

Prosecutors rested their case Monday after five days of testimony.

Sheley then told the judge he wouldn’t testify, the same decision he made last year when he was on trial in the Galesburg death, the Sterling Daily Gazette reported.

Witnesses called during Sheley’s current trial included his wife, Holly Sheley, Illinois State Police investigators and the doctor who performed Reed’s autopsy. Reed’s sons also testified.

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