Murder Trial to Test Cameras in Courtroom

Courtroom cameras could be in Cook County by end of year

Monday, Oct 29, 2012  |  Updated 10:42 AM CDT
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Courtroom cameras will provide a rare look inside Illinois trial proceedings.

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The trial for a man accused in an eight-person killing spree will also mark the first major test of Illinois' experiment with cameras in the courtroom.

Cameras will be rolling in Whiteside County Monday when attorneys begin delivering opening statements in the second trial for Nicholas Sheley.

Sheley, 33, is on trial for the 2008 death of 93-year-old Russell Reed. Sheley has already been convicted in the murder of a Galesburg, IL man, and he faces trials in six other deaths in Illinois and Missouri.

Other counties will be watching the experiment with cameras in the courtroom, with the possibility that it could be expanded to other areas of the state.

Some judges and attorneys have expressed concerns that the expanded media presence may disrupt proceedings. Sheley has also had a history of being disruptive in court, and officials will also analyze whether he plays to the camera.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride, and the chief judge of Cook County's court system, Timothy Evans, will be among those monitoring the trial. Evans says a camera system could be ready for Cook County by the end of the year.

Sheley has pleaded not guilty in the case.

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