GALESBURG, Ill. – The brother of a man suspected of killing eight people in Illinois and Missouri was charged Wednesday with concealing a homicidal death and obstructing justice.
The grand jury in Whiteside County also indicted Joshua Sheley's girlfriend and another man in connection with Nicholas Sheley's alleged killing spree, authorities said.
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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Whiteside County State's Attorney Gary Spencer revealed the indictments in a joint statement but did not describe what the three defendants are accused of doing.
Nicholas Sheley is suspected of bludgeoning eight people to death in late June before being captured outside a bar near St. Louis. He has been charged with murder in four deaths, and authorities say he is a suspect in the others though charges have not been filed.
The victims range from a 93-year-old man from Nicholas Sheley's hometown of Sterling to a 2-year-old child found with three other victims in an apartment in Rock Falls, the hometown of Joshua Sheley.
His girlfriend, Jenna Henson, 20, was indicted on two counts of obstructing justice, a felony. Eric Smith, 21, was charged with one count of being an armed habitual criminal and two counts of unlawful possession of weapons by a felon.
Smith was an associate of Joshua Sheley, said Madigan's spokeswoman Natalie Bauer. The attorney general's office is helping at the request of local prosecutors, she said.
Joshua Sheley, 30, and Smith are being held in the Whiteside County Jail and are scheduled to appear in court Friday. Henson was scheduled to appear in court Aug. 1.
It was not immediately clear if the defendants had attorneys. Phone numbers for them were not listed.
The concealment count carries a prison term of up to five years and the obstruction count carries up to six years. The obstruction counts carry possible penalties of up to three years each.
Smith faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison if convicted on the first count and the weapons counts each are punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Nicholas Sheley is being held at the Knox County Jail on $1 million bond and is next scheduled to appear in court on July 28.