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Prosecutors: Curl waited too long to take back plea

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 3:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 11:06 p.m. CDT
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(Provided photo)
William Curl, charged in the murder of Antinette "Toni" Keller.

SYCAMORE – William "Billy" Curl's bid to have a judge toss his 37-year prison sentence for murdering Northern Illinois University student Antinette “Toni” Keller might come down to math.

Curl, 36, formerly of DeKalb, had 30 days from the time he entered the negotiated plea agreement April 3 to file a motion trying to undo it, prosecutors said. He didn't file the motion until July 22, which is 108 days after he entered the plea.

Curl appeared in DeKalb County Circuit Court on Tuesday for the first time since filing the request, which claims prosecutors threatened his 13-year-old son. He also has claimed his dyslexia, speech impediment and “great difficulty” reading and writing prevented him from understanding the finality of the agreement.

On Tuesday, Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert appointed Yorkville criminal defense attorney Dan Transier to represent Curl. Prosecutors asked Stuckert to strike or dismiss Curl's request because he didn't meet the 30-day deadline.

In his July 22 motion, Curl claimed he didn't know he could try to withdraw his plea, but prosecutors say he was told of all his options when the plea agreement was entered in court April 3.

Stuckert did not rule on the matter Tuesday. The case is next due in court Sept. 5.

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