Man beat four to death with hammer

Published:

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- A 34-year-old man has been convicted of beating four people to death with a hammer in a northwest Illinois apartment in 2008.

Jurors decided Thursday that Nicholas Sheley is guilty of murder in the deaths of 29-year-old Brock Branson; 20-year-old Kilynna Blake; her son, 2-year-old Dayan; and 25-year-old Kenneth Ulve in Rock Falls in June 2008.

The killings were part of a series of crimes that authorities say Sheley committed in the summer of 2008. He is already serving life sentences for killing two Illinois men that June. He is due to be tried next in Missouri for the deaths of an Arkansas couple.

Prosecutors' case included Sheley's DNA found in the Rock Falls apartment. The defense did not call any witnesses.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 11.

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