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NOVICE IMPRESSIVE OUT OF THE BLOCKS DIXON TRACK, B1
LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT, A9-11
Thursday, May 22, 2014
SERVING ROCK FALLS, STERLING AND THE SURROUNDING AREA SINCE 1854
ROCK ISLAND | THE SHELEY TRIAL
‘Hammer fits the bill’ Sheley’s DNA found on cigarette butts in apartment BY CHRISTI WARREN firstname.lastname@example.org 800-798-4085, ext. 5521
ROCK ISLAND – There were 11 blows to Kenneth Ulve’s head. Seven to Brock Branson’s. Kilynna Blake had six. Her son, 2-year-old Dayan? Four – one, in particular, was clearly visible from his autopsy photographs: a large, round, dark red impact site just above his left eyebrow; the rest of his face the palest ivory. All four died sometime during the final hours of June 28, 2008, in their Rock Falls apartment. Their deaths,
Follow on Twitter Sauk Valley Media reporter Christi Warren (@SeaWarren) will tweet updates from the courtroom. forensic pathologist Dr. Mark Peters testified in court Wednesday, were all caused by blunt force trauma to the head. And what caused that trauma, Assistant Attorney General Bill Elward inquired. In each autopsy photo that Elward displayed for the jury, Peters pointed out the round impact sites, and
then what lay beneath them: round, depressed fractures in the victims’ skulls. Sometimes, the impact site would punch a clean hole right through the skull, as was seen in a photograph of Kenneth’s skull, once it had been removed. It could only mean one thing. “A hammer fits the bill,” Peters said. Through the entire presentation, Nicholas Sheley, the twice-convicted murderer on trial for their deaths, stared straight ahead, rocking in his chair. HAMMER CONTINUED ON A2
Paul Colletti/The Rock Island Argus
Nicholas Sheley (left) talks with his attorney, Jeremy Karlin, during the third day of his trial Wednesday at the Rock Island County Justice Center. Sheley is on trial for the June 2008 deaths of Brock Branson, 29, his girlfriend, Kilynna Blake, 20, her 2-year-old son, Dayan, and Kenneth Ulve, 25, in Rock Falls.
NEWMAN CENTRAL CATHOLIC | GRADUATION
Many thanks, many ways Not the pad for Touch of Thai Downtown site not working out, operators say BY PAM EGGEMEIER email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 5570
Photos by Philip Marruffofirstname.lastname@example.org
Shilong Ryan Jin of China, address classmates, friends and family during Newman Central Catholic High School graduation Wednesday at St. Andrew Catholic Church. His parents traveled nearly 7,000 miles for the occasion.
Grads reflect on support systems both near and far
ROCK FALLS – On the heels of news that a hotel is coming to anchor the riverfront, the operators of Touch of Thai have abandoned their plans to enter the fray. The restaurant was a big part of owner Trirong Khuntangta’s plans for the building at 102 W. Second St., which once housed Innovations 4 You. Khuntangta owns Touch of Thai, Traditional Wellness Center and Gingko Tree Cafe, all in Dixon. THAI CONTINUED ON A4
BY PAM EGGEMEIER email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 5570
Newman Central Catholic High School graduates turn their tassels Wednesday evening at St. Andrew Catholic Church.
TODAY’S EDITION: 28 PAGES 2 SECTIONS VOL. 160 ISSUE 118
BUSINESS ......... A12 COMICS ...............B4 CROSSWORD....B12
ROCK FALLS – The 2014 Newman Central Catholic High School graduation ceremony was all about giving thanks. The 62 seniors who received diplomas Wednesday at St. Andrew Catholic Church were reminded often of what had gotten them to this point: faith, family, friends and faculty. When it came to thanking family, foreign exchange student Shilong Ryan Jin had his work cut out for him. Ryan’s parents made the nearly 7,000mile trip from China to see their son graduate in the country he has called home since September 2012. But Ryan also had his American “parents” to thank.
DEAR ABBY ......... A8 LOTTERY ............. A2 OBITUARIES ........ A4
THANKS CONTINUED ON A5
OPINION .............. A6 PLAN!T! ................ A9 SPORTS ...............B1
Alex T. Paschalfirstname.lastname@example.org
A pedestrian is reflected in the window of the building formerly pegged for Touch of Thai in downtown Rock Falls on Tuesday afternoon.
Today’s weather High 75. Low 48. More on A3.
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COMMUNITY WATCH Were we in
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1 hurt Tuesday in Ogle County crash
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LOTTERY NUMBERS My 3 Midday: My 3 Evening: Pick Three-Midday: &IREBALL Pick Three-Evening: &IREBALL Pick Four-Midday: &IREBALL Pick Four-Evening: &IREBALL Lucky Day Lotto Midday: Lucky Day Lotto Evening: Estimated Lotto jackpot: MILLION Estimated Mega Millions jackpot: MILLION Estimated Powerball jackpot: MILLION
Photos by Paul Colletti/The Rock Island Argus
ABOVE: 14th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey W. Oâ€™Connor (center) listens as (from left) prosecutor Steve Nate, defense attorney Jeremy Karlin and prosecutor Bill Elward approach the bench Wednesday during the third day of Nicholas Sheleyâ€™s murder trial at the Rock Island County Justice Center. RIGHT: Nicholas Sheley is escorted into the courtroom.
Nine testify on Day 3 HAMMER
CONTINUED FROM A1
The victimsâ€™ bodies were found 2 days later, on June 30, 2008, when Brockâ€™s mother, Connie, and father, Dallas, decided to check on them after a few days of not hearing from them. Also found in the apartment were a pair of blood-stained khaki shorts, a blood-stained blue work shirt with the initials â€œA.J.â€? embroidered on it, a pile of ash, and two Newport cigarette butts. Prosecutors say those items are what link Nicholas Sheley to the deaths. They say heâ€™s the one who swung the hammer. Nine people testified at the Rock Island County Justice Center on Day 3