Man convicted in 6 Illinois deaths seeks new Missouri venue

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Nicholas Sheley

HILLSBORO, Mo. (AP) – A 35-year-old man serving life sentences for six Illinois slayings wants to move a Missouri murder trial that could lead to his execution.

Nicholas Sheley’s request for a venue change says he can’t get a fair trial in Jefferson County south of St. Louis, where prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty if he’s convicted in the killings of Jill and Tom Estes of Sherwood, Arkansas. Police say the couple was attacked outside a Festus hotel after leaving a 2008 graduation party.

Sheley was scheduled to make his first Missouri court appearance Monday, but his arraignment was postponed after the judge stepped down at Sheley’s request.

Court records don’t indicate why Circuit Judge Mark Stoll withdrew, but under Missouri law Sheley didn’t have to explain why he asked.