US

Man sentenced to 37 years for slaying and burning of teen as part of plea deal

  • FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2011 file photo, William Curl, of Dekalb, Ill., is escorted by DeKalb County Sheriff deputies into the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore, Ill.  Curl, who is charged in the 2010 slaying of a Northern Illinois University freshman Antinette "Toni" Keller, will appear in court Wednesday, April 3, 2013, to enter an "Alford" plea in exchange for a 37-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/Daily Chronicle, Kyle Bursaw)  MANDATORY CREDIT, CHICAGO LOCALS OUT, ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR OUT

    FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2011 file photo, William Curl, of Dekalb, Ill., is escorted by DeKalb County Sheriff deputies into the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore, Ill. Curl, who is charged in the 2010 slaying of a Northern Illinois University freshman Antinette "Toni" Keller, will appear in court Wednesday, April 3, 2013, to enter an "Alford" plea in exchange for a 37-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/Daily Chronicle, Kyle Bursaw) MANDATORY CREDIT, CHICAGO LOCALS OUT, ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This file photo provided Oct. 29, 2010 by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department shows William Curl, 34, of DeKalb, Ill.  Curl, who is charged in the 2010 slaying of a Northern Illinois University freshman Antinette "Toni" Keller, will appear in court Wednesday, April 3, 2013, to enter a plea in exchange for a 37-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, File)

    FILE - This file photo provided Oct. 29, 2010 by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department shows William Curl, 34, of DeKalb, Ill. Curl, who is charged in the 2010 slaying of a Northern Illinois University freshman Antinette "Toni" Keller, will appear in court Wednesday, April 3, 2013, to enter a plea in exchange for a 37-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., shows student Antinette "Toni" Keller, 18, of Plainfield, Ill., who disappeared Oct. 14, 2010, and whose burned remains were later found in a park in DeKalb. On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, William Curl, 36, of DeKalb, who is charged Keller's slaying, will appear in court to enter a plea in exchange for a 37-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/Northern Illinois University, File)

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., shows student Antinette "Toni" Keller, 18, of Plainfield, Ill., who disappeared Oct. 14, 2010, and whose burned remains were later found in a park in DeKalb. On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, William Curl, 36, of DeKalb, who is charged Keller's slaying, will appear in court to enter a plea in exchange for a 37-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/Northern Illinois University, File)  (The Associated Press)

A man charged in the 2010 slaying of a Northern Illinois University student whose burned body was found in a park days after she disappeared has entered a plea in exchange for a 37-year prison sentence.

William Curl entered the plea in a DeKalb County courtroom Wednesday, a day after prosecutors announced a deal in the slaying of 18-year-old Antinette "Toni" Keller. Curl maintains his innocence. He agreed to enter an Alford plea acknowledging prosecutors could likely prove his guilt at trial.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the 36-year-old must serve the entire sentence.

Public Defender Tom McCullough says had Curl been convicted at trial there was a possibility he could have been sentenced to life in prison.