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

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.