An important hearing in the Antinette “Toni” Keller murder trial has been postponed because accused killer William “Billy” Curl has an earache, according to attorneys.
Thelma Holderness, a friend of parents Diane and Roger Keller, said the family was told a hearing set for Tuesday, Nov. 13 was cancelled because Curl, 36, has an earache and may have difficulty hearing in court.
Curl is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the death of Keller, 18, a Plainfield resident and Northern Illinois University freshman.
He is also charged with one count of criminal sexual assault, one count of arson and one count of concealing a homicidal death in the 2010 murder of Keller.
The teen’s remains were discovered on Oct. 16, 2010 — two days after Toni told friends she was going for a walk in DeKalb’s Prairie Park to take photos for an art class assignment, then vanished.
Last month, Curl’s attorneys filed a motion seeking to dismiss the murder charges because they "do not specify what acts caused Keller’s death,” which prevents the accused killer from adequately preparing a defense, the DeKalb Daily Chronicle reported.
Stuckert was slated to rule on that motion at the Nov. 13 hearing, along with interviewing a psychiatrist who had evaluated Curl for the defense.
“The hearing Tuesday was pivotal,” Holderness said, adding the DeKalb County State’s Attorney also told Roger Keller to “not count on Dec. 3 for trial.”
If the proceedings are delayed, it will be the third time the trial date has been pushed back. It was initially slated to begin in May. That same month, it was delayed to allow additional time for psychological evaluations of Curl.
“[I’m] saddened and sickened,” said Holderness, who founded the Summoning of Yellow Facebook page in support of the Keller family.
A new hearing date has yet to be set, according to Holderness.
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