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The pastor of Nicholas Sheley’s church says the 28-year-old suspected of killing eight people unsuccessfully battled drug addiction since 2004.

The Reverend Brian Tribley of the Firehouse of God Ministries in Sheley’s hometown of Sterling, Illinois says he ministered to Sheley for years. Tribley says when sober, Sheley volunteered to help re-roof a homeless shelter run by the church. But Tribley says Sheley couldn’t stay off drugs for long stretches. Tribley says drug binges led to Sheley’s absence from church for weeks at a time and often resulted in troubles with police. Family members also have noted Sheley’s struggles with drugs. His criminal record includes multiple convictions for drugs, robbery and weapons charges. (AP) ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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