Judge denies request to delay Curl trial

Curl trial expected to start April 11

(Photo provided)
Billy Curl

SYCAMORE – William Curl's trial for the murder of Antinette "Toni" Keller will begin as scheduled April 11 after a judge denied defense attorneys' request Wednesday for more time.

Public Defender Tom McCulloch asked Judge Robbin Stuckert for a later trial date because he was concerned prosecutors were going to call an expert psychologist without divulging the name or background information until days before the trial.

"I just don't want any expert disclosed on the eve of the trial," Stuckert said.

While prosecutors did consult with experts, Assistant State's Attorney Phil Montgomery assured McCulloch and Stuckert that prosecutors would not call an expert to the stand during the trial. Because defense attorneys would not need time to review an additional witness, Stuckert said the trial would not be pushed back.

The trial will come more than two years after Curl, 36, of DeKalb, was accused of murder, concealing a homicidal death, arson and criminal sexual assault in the death of Keller – a Northern Illinois University freshman in October 2010.

Prosecutors were also granted permission Wednesday to interview the defense's witness, psychologist Jayne Braden, without McCulloch's presence. Braden is not required to speak with prosecutors and could request McCulloch be present if she wanted.

Prosecutors previously attempted to bar testimony from the forensic psychologist, but Stuckert ruled it would be allowed on a limited scope. Braden is not allowed to talk about any statements Curl made to her about the charges he faces.    

The trial will likely be the first one in DeKalb County to allow cameras in the courtroom, so Stuckert reminded all attorneys to let witnesses know they should raise any objections to being recorded.

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