Appeals Court: Judge’s mid-trial nap didn’t effect outcome of trial

An Illinois appeals court has ruled that a judge falling asleep during a murder trial doesn’t warrant a retrial.

The Illinois Appellate Court panel in Ottawa says Whiteside County Judge Jeffrey O’Connor’s alleged nap was harmless as long as he wasn’t sleeping during crucial evidence or motions during Nicholas Sheley’s 2014 trial for four killings in Illinois and Missouri.

O’Connor allegedly fell asleep while the lights were dim and security camera footage was being played for the jury. O’Connor denied the allegations.

Shelley, who is serving a life sentence, sought a new trial because he alleged that O’Connor repeatedly napped.

The appeals court ruled that the evidence against Shelley was overwhelming and that O’Connor napping had no effect on the trial.