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Defense attorneys file two motions in Curl case

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 2:58 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 3:03 p.m. CDT

SYCAMORE — Attorneys filed additional motions Tuesday in the case of the man accused of killing Northern Illinois University student Antinette "Toni" Keller.

During a hearing at the DeKalb County Courthouse, William "Billy" Curl, 36, of DeKalb, appeared in court via closed-circuit TV from the county jail.

He is charged with five counts of first-degree murder, one count of concealing a homicidal death, one count of arson and one count of criminal sexual assault in relation to Keller's October 2010 death. Curl was indicted in January 2011, and his trial is set to begin Dec. 3.

Defense attorneys filed two motions Tuesday. One seeks to dismiss the five first-degree murder counts of the indictment because they do not specify what acts caused Keller's death, which prevents Curl from adequately preparing a defense, according to the motion.

The second asks for a hearing on whether testimony from a witness the state intends to call – Daniel McDevitt, an expert in criminology and major case management – should be allowed.

A motion filed by prosecutors requests that the court bar testimony from Dr. Jayne Braden, who conducted a psychological evaluation of Curl. Her report says Curl has a tendency to "distort or fabricate information," according to court documents.

The state plans to bring up at trial a statement Curl made to police that ties him to Keller's death, according to the motion. Braden's observation might cause a jury to think she believes Curl's statements to police are false, when she has not offered an opinion as to whether what he told police is true or not.

A hearing on the motions was set for Nov. 13.

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