Hearing begins for man convicted of NIU student’s killing

SYCAMORE — A hearing is underway as a man serving a decades-long prison sentence in the 2010 death of a Northern Illinois University student tries to withdraw his guilty plea.

The Daily-Chronicle reports that 41-year-old William Curl is expected to testify Thursday afternoon at the DeKalb County Courthouse. Curl says his April 2013 guilty plea in the death of 18-year-old Antinette “Toni” Keller of Plainfield was coerced by prosecutors. He was given a 37-year sentence.

Curl filed a petition in 2015 asking for post-conviction relief. In May he was granted a hearing that started on Wednesday. Curl maintained his innocence in the plea agreement but acknowledged prosecutors could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he killed Keller.

Keller’s burned body was found in a park two days after she disappeared.

–Associated Press

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