Update: 10/30/10 11:31am
At this morning’s court hearing, an assistant public defender was appointed for Curl, who will have a status hearing Monday before Judge Robbin Stuckert.
According to Chicago Breaking News
William P. Curl, 34, of DeKalb, appeared to listen intently but showed no other outward reaction in the 10-minute hearing before DeKalb County Judge James Donnelly, even when Donnelly told him he could face the death penalty if convicted of the crimes. Curl was dressed in orange jail garb with his hands cuffed behind his back as he sat in the jail’s holding area and attended through closed-circuit video.
Prosecutors did not read a formal proffer and so revealed few details of the crime, although they did say police had recovered Keller’s burned clothing and her cell phone near the remains.
“We certainly wouldn’t have charged someone with the various charges we have if we weren’t satisfied we had sufficient evidence to prove we have the right person,” said Assistant DeKalb State’s Attorney Phil Montgomery after the hearing.
DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said William “Billy” P. Curl, 34, 507 E. Taylor Street, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in Covington, Louisiana, and extradited back to Illinois.
“This was a gruesome murder and we now have charged a man in this horrible crime,” said Feithen. “We believe this was a crime of opportunity.”
DeKalb County State’s Attorney John Ferrell said Curl has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder, criminal sexual assault, and arson. Bail has been set at $5 million. The murder charges carry a range of sentencing from 20 to 60 years. Two of the first-degree murder charges potentially qualify the defendant for imposition of the death penalty.
“Today, the wheels of justice begin to turn for Toni Keller and her family,” said Farrell. “Investigators worked relentlessly pursuing every lead to solve this case. We are indebted to them for moving swiftly, methodically, and with great care for the integrity of the investigation.”