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UPDATE: Murder Trial Continued
Updated May 5, 2013 1:06 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(PAOLI) - Sterlen Keller's murder trial has again been continued in Orange Circuit Court.

Keller is charged with the murder of Orleans resident Robert Collier. His trial was scheduled to begin this morning. Court officials say possible jurors were informed they did not need to report this morning.

A new trial date had not yet been set.

Original story from earlier:

(PAOLI) - The jury trial of a Salem man charged in the 2010 death of an elderly rural Orleans resident Robert Collier is set to begin on today (Tuesday) at 9 a.m. in Orange County Circuit Court.

Sterlen Keller and Marvin Noland Jr. are charged with murder, auto theft and failing to report a dead body.

Bedford Attorney and Public Defender Nick Herthel will be representing Keller today in court.

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.

Nolan has no criminal history in Washington County. David Smith was appointed to represent Noland.



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