Sheley Judge Denies Mistrial Request from Defense

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) -- The judge in the murder trial of a man accused in the 2008 beating deaths of four people in northwest Illinois has denied a request for a mistrial.

Defense attorney Jeremy Karlin asked for a mistrial Tuesday. Karlin said Judge Jeffrey O'Connor fell asleep Friday during 34-year-old Nicholas Sheley's trial.

The Rock Island Argus reports that Karlin said the judge also appeared at times to be confused and have a hard time following.

The judge noted that jurors will decide Sheley's fate and denied Karlin's motion.

Sheley has pleaded not guilty to killing 29-year-old Brock Branson; 20-year-old Kilynna Blake; her son, 2-year-old Dayan and 25-year-old Kenneth Ulve.

Sheley has been convicted of killing two Illinois men that same week and is charged in two deaths in Missouri.

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