By Susan Stephens
Sycamore, IL – The man accused of murdering Northern Illinois University student Toni Keller will plead "not guilty" at 1:30 next Tuesday, February 22nd, in a DeKalb County courtroom. That's according to William Curl's attorney, Rebecca Harris. She says psychiatric evaluations have convinced her that he is fit to stand trial.
Once Curl is arraigned, the clock starts for prosecutors to decide whether they will pursue the death penalty. They have 120 days. When asked how her client is doing, public defender Harris said Curl is "a very fragile person," both emotionally and mentally. She says the psychiatric evaluations continue. Harris says the plea next week is just another step in a very long process. They're still waiting for the results of tests on DNA taken from a number of shoes found in a landfill that matched descriptions of shoes worn by Curl.
Keller was a freshman art student at N.I.U. She disappeared October 14th, 2010 after telling friends she was going for a walk in a large wooded park near campus. Curl was arrested nearly two weeks later and charged with murder, sexual assault, and arson.