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Murder charges against Curl stand

Published: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 1:05 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 10:13 p.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – William “Billy” Curl still is scheduled to stand trial next month for allegedly killing Northern Illinois University freshman Antinette “Toni” Keller in October 2010.

A judge denied his motion Thursday to dismiss the murder charges. An attorney for Curl, 36, of DeKalb, argued that he could not adequately prepare his defense because the indictment did not specify what acts caused Keller’s death.

In addition to the murder charges, Curl is accused of concealing a homicidal death, arson and criminal sexual assault in connection with Keller’s death. Keller was last seen Oct. 14, 2010, when she told friends she was going for a walk in Prairie Park. Her burned body was found in the park two days later.

Curl was indicted in January 2011, and his trial is set to begin Jan. 14.

A judge also plans to review how much clinical psychologist Jayne Braden can say during the trial about statements Curl made to her. She can testify about her diagnosis of Curl’s mental conditions, but a judge will consider the rest of her potential testimony at a hearing Dec. 17.

Braden’s report said Curl has a tendency to “distort or fabricate information,” according to court documents.

A judge also granted a defense motion to prevent prosecutors from calling Daniel McDevitt during the trial. McDevitt is an expert in criminology and major case management and a former police officer who was not involved in the Curl investigation.

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