Mt. Vernon Register-News

April 3, 2013

Suspect in NIU student slaying agrees to plea deal


Associated Press

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SYCAMORE (AP) — A man charged in the 2010 slaying of a Northern Illinois University is expected to enter a plea in exchange for a 37-year prison sentence.

DeKalb County prosecutors say 36-year-old William Curl will appear in court Wednesday to enter an Alford plea in the death of 18-year-old Antinette "Toni" Keller.

Curl maintains his innocence, although with the Alford plea he acknowledges prosecutors could likely prove the charge filed against him. He was charged with first-degree murder.

Keller, an art student from Plainfield, was last seen before she headed to a park and nature preserve near the university. Burned remains were found in the park two days later were identified as hers.

Keller family spokeswoman Mary Tarling said the concept of a plea agreement was sprung unexpectedly on the victim's family.