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Last updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2012
(PAOLI) - 23-year-old Sterlen Shane Keller of Salem was to stand trial Tuesday morning on charges of murder, auto theft and failing to report a dead body.
He is accused of the October 2011 strangulation death of Orleans resident Robert Collier.
However, his trial was continued by Orange County Circuit Court Judge Larry Blanton, after new charges were filed Tuesday morning.
Keller now faces additional charges of two counts of a prisoner possessing dangerous device or material and three counts of trafficking with an inmate.
Police say Keller allegedly had two different deadly weapons, one an earpiece from a pair of glasses that had been filed to a sharp point and a thick metal wire with sharpened ends.
Two of the trafficking allegations stem from him having those two weapons. The third trafficking offense is because he had ibuprofen, without prior authorization.
Keller's new trial date is April 17th. He is being represented by Bedford Attorney and Public Defender Nick Herthel.
A second man has also been charged with the murder of Collier, 19-year-old Marvin Noland, of Pekin. His trial date is also set for the same day. He is being represented by Bedford Attorney and Public Defender Dave Smith.
The men were arrested after Orange County police were asked by the Washington County Sheriff's Department to perform a welfare check on Collier after police were told Keller and Noland had Collier's truck and that they had possibly killed the man.
Police went to Collier's home and found Collier's body behind a barn in an advanced stage of decomposition.
After police found the body, family members brought Keller and Noland to the Washington County Jail to be interviewed.
According to police reports, Noland told ISP detectives that Keller strangled Collier. He told police they were at Collier's home looking for a fuel tank they could scrap.
Noland also told police that he heard a noise and when he turned around Keller was strangling Collier, but did nothing to stop the murder. Keller told police he saw Collier's body, but did not kill him.
Keller told police that he didn't steal the truck, but was buying it from Collier. Keller had no bill of sale or other paperwork to prove he had purchased the truck, but he did have possession of the title.
Police say they found Collier's GMC truck in Keller's driveway. They obtained a search warrant and searched the truck and found paperwork belonging to Collier, including his social security checks, insurance papers, personal checks and other paperwork. Some of the personal checks and the social security checks had been signed with the name of Collier and co-signed by Keller.
Police also found other items taken from Collier's home including three tractors, a car, a dump truck, a gun, television and other items.
Keller has a criminal history of theft and receiving stolen property in 2006, theft in 2007 and check deception in 2008 in Washington County.
Noland has no criminal history in Washington County.
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