ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — The trial of a man charged with killing four people in a Rock Falls apartment in 2008 took an odd turn when the defense noted the judge had been falling asleep.

Attorney Jeremy Karlin represents defendant Nicholas Sheley.

Karlin on Friday said in court that Judge Jeffrey O’Connor fell asleep while a videotaped deposition was played. Karlin said he’d noticed the judge sleeping on other occasions, too.

The Rock Island Argus reports that O’Connor acknowledged Karlin’s observation but said he’s able to preside over the trial.

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.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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