Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 16 , 2008
Media Contact: Robyn Ziegler


Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Whiteside County State’s Attorney Gary Spencer today announced the grand jury indictments of three individuals in connection with last month’s murders allegedly committed by Nicholas T. Sheley.

Eric Smith, 21 of Rock Falls, was indicted on one count of armed habitual criminal, a Class X felony which carries a possible penalty of 6 - 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) and two counts of unlawful possession of weapons by a felon, a Class 2 felony carrying a possible penalty of 3 - 14 years in DOC.

Joshua Sheley, Sheley’s brother, 30 of Rock Falls, was indicted on one count of concealment of a homicidal death, a Class 3 felony that carries a possible penalty of 2 - 5 years in DOC, and on one count of obstructing justice, a Class 4 felony which carries a possible penalty of 1 - 6 years DOC.

Jenna Henson, Joshua Sheley’s girlfriend, 20 of Sterling, was indicted on two counts of obstructing justice, each Class 4 felonies carrying a maximum penalty of three years in the DOC.

Eric Smith and Joshua Sheley are in custody in the Whiteside County Jail and are scheduled to appear in court on Friday, July 18 at 1 p.m. Henson will appear in court on Aug. 1 to face the charges. All the charges in the previously filed criminal complaints are superseded by today’s indictments.

Nicholas Sheley is currently being held in Knox County Jail and is charged with the murder of Ronald Randall, 65 of Galesburg. Sheley also has been charged in Whiteside County with five counts of murder for the death of Russell Reed, 93 of Sterling. He remains under investigation for a quadruple murder in Rock Falls. He is also charged in Missouri’s Jefferson County on charges of murder and armed criminal action in the Festus, Mo. killings of Jill and Tom Estes of Sherwood, Ark. He is scheduled to appear next in court in Knox County on July 28.

The Whiteside County State’s Attorney and Knox County State’s Attorney both requested the assistance of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office in the prosecution of Sheley’s case and associated charges.

The public is reminded that these are merely charges and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.


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