A Knox County judge issued a gag order Wednesday in the trial of a man charged with killing eight people, one day after the man gave a jailhouse interview in which he claimed he cooperated in his capture.

A Knox County judge issued a gag order Wednesday in the trial of a man charged with killing eight people, one day after the man gave a jailhouse interview in which he claimed he cooperated in his capture.
In the emergency hearing, Circuit Judge James Stewart agreed with prosecutors' and defense attorneys' claims that Nicholas Sheley's interview with The Associated Press compromised the fairness and integrity of the Knox County case, in which he is accused of killing a 65-year-old man.
Defense attorneys Jim Harrell and Jeremy Karlin filed the emergency motion Wednesday seeking to halt pretrial publicity.
Stewart said he will lift the gag order if Sheley is found competent to stand trial. Given the situation, he said the court has to sort through which — and whose — constitutional rights should prevail.
"Mr. Sheley has a right to a speedy trial," Stewart said, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail reported. "There is freedom of the press, a right to counsel, a right to a fair trial, a right to remain silent and to waive that right."
Stewart also ordered that Sheley not be allowed contact with visitors without his attorneys present.
Sheley is charged with bludgeoning to death six people in Illinois and two people in Missouri.
He contacted The Associated Press on Tuesday and said he wants a speedy trial and feels that won't happen. He said he hasn't discussed the facts of the case with his public defenders, whom he accused of trying to stall his trial.
"My belief in the system, like I said, it's crooked," Sheley said. "The public defender is appointed by a judge who works for the state of Illinois. The public defender is getting paid by the state."
Sheley said he cooperated in his arrest outside a Granite City bar because his family feared he'd be killed if a manhunt continued.
His next court date is scheduled for Friday.