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Orange County Murder Trial Continued

Last updated on Wednesday, October 5, 2011

(PAOLI) - 23-year-old Sterlen Keller, of Salem, will not appear in Orange County Circuit Court before a jury until Jan. 10, 2012.

Keller is accused of strangling Robert Collier, of Bromer.

He is also facing charges auto theft, a Class D felony, and failure to report a dead body, a Class A misdemeanor. Keller was scheduled to appear Tuesday, but the trial was reset because additional preparation needed to be done by both the defense and prosecuting attorneys.

Keller is one of two men who are charged with the murder of Collier. 19-year-old Marvin Noland, of Pekin, will face the same charges. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 1.

Keller is being represented by Bedford attorney Nick Herthel. Dave Smith was appointed to represent Noland

Discovery Of The Body

According to Indiana State Police reports, ISP Detective Denis Lanham went to Collier's home at 5952 N. County Road 650 E., in Orleans, after receiving a call from Washington County Sheriff's Department requesting a welfare check.

Police were concerned about "rumors that Sterlen and Noland were driving Collier's pick-up truck and had possibly killed Collier." The information was given to police by Keller's stepfather, Joe Howell Sr.

According to police reports, Lanham checked around Collier's house, but no one at the home. He then walked around the outbuilding and found a human body that was in advanced stages of decomposition.

Authorities then contacted family members of Keller and Noland and the men were taken to the Washington County Jail for questioning. They were arrested and taken to the Orange County Jail where they are being held without bond.

Suspects Talk To Police

Noland told police that he and Collier went to Collier's property and were looking at a fuel tank to scrap. Noland told police he heard a noise and turned around to see Keller strangling Collier. Noland says he didn't try and stop Keller, instead he turned away and prayed.

Keller told police he saw the body, but denied killing Collier.

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