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Curl trial delayed over hearing aids

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SYCAMORE – A judge agreed Friday to delay the trial of William "Billy" Curl until January.

Curl, 36, of DeKalb, is charged with killing Northern Illinois University freshman Antinette "Toni" Keller in October 2010. His trial was scheduled to begin Dec. 3, but his attorney brought concerns to the court earlier this month regarding Curl's ability to hear the proceedings.

Medical tests of Curl's hearing showed a need for hearing aids, Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert said in a hearing Friday morning at the DeKalb County Courthouse. DeKalb County Jail staff believe he could have the hearing aids by Nov. 30, she said.

That means the earliest date Stuckert could hear pretrial motions is the afternoon of Dec. 3. Attorneys agreed to move the date for motions to the morning of Dec. 4 to avoid conflicts with the court schedule.

Prosecutors have asked Stuckert to bar testimony from a clinical psychologist who conducted a psychological evaluation of Curl and found he has a tendency to "distort or fabricate information." Should Stuckert rule against their motion in the pretrial phase, prosecutor Stephanie Klein said the office would need enough time before starting the trial to hire an expert witness to testify.

Prosecutors and public defender Tom McCulloch, who is representing Curl, agreed on Jan. 14, 2013 as the start date for the trial.

Curl's charges include murder, concealing a homicidal death, arson and criminal sexual assault. He was indicted in January 2011.

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