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Michael Keith Spell

Judge asked to toss statements in Sherry Arnold murder

Judge asked to toss statements in Sherry Arnold murder

A Montana judge will decide whether a suspect's alleged confession to his involvement in the slaying of a woman jogging through her town in the Bakken oil patch should be suppressed because the defendant is mentally disabled.

August 28, 2014 11:10 am Photos

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Montana District Judge Richard Simonton

Montana District Judge Richard Simonton

Montana District Judge Richard Simonton addresses a witness appearing via video during a competency hearing for murder suspect Michael Keith Spell on Tuesday.

March 25, 2014 2:24 pmLoading…
Montana District Judge Richard Simonton

Montana District Judge Richard Simonton

Montana District Judge Richard Simonton addresses the prosecution during a competency hearing for murder suspect Michael Keith Spell on Tuesday in Sidney.

March 25, 2014 2:24 pmLoading…
Defense attorney Al Avignone

Defense attorney Al Avignone

Defense attorney Al Avignone, right, speaks with Richland County Attorney Mike Weber, center, at the competency hearing for murder suspect Michael Keith Spell last spring. 

March 25, 2014 2:24 pmLoading…
Sidney teacher's murder case hinges on mental disability

Sidney teacher's murder case hinges on mental disability

SIDNEY — Sharply divergent images of a Colorado man charged with killing a Montana teacher during a random abduction attempt emerged during a hearing Tuesday to determine whether the suspect is fit for trial.

March 25, 2014 10:15 am Photos

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Michael Spell hearing

Michael Spell hearing

Defense attorney Al Avignone, left, questions psychologist Greg Olley during testimony Monday in Sidney on whether a Colorado man should stand trial in the 2012 killing of a Montana teacher. Olley testified that 24-year-old defendant Michael Keith Spell has an intelligence level comparable t…

March 24, 2014 5:02 pmLoading…
2 defense experts say suspect in teacher's murder unfit for trial

2 defense experts say suspect in teacher's murder unfit for trial

SIDNEY — Defense experts testified Monday that a Colorado man is unfit for trial in the murder of a Montana teacher because he is prone to distort the past and displays the intelligence of an 11-year-old, leaving him unable to understand the case against him.

March 24, 2014 4:55 pm Photos

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Defense expert: Suspect in teacher's murder has mental capacity of 11-year-old

Defense expert: Suspect in teacher's murder has mental capacity of 11-year-old

SIDNEY — A defense expert testified Monday that a Colorado man is unfit for trial in the murder of a Montana teacher because he is easily confused and displays the intelligence of an 11-year-old, leaving him unable to understand the case against him.

March 24, 2014 1:42 am Photos

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Defense: Suspect in Sidney teacher's murder diagnosed as disabled

Defense: Suspect in Sidney teacher's murder diagnosed as disabled

A Colorado man charged in the murder of an eastern Montana teacher was diagnosed with mental disability following a recent evaluation at Montana State Hospital, according to court documents filed Thursday by defense attorneys.

March 20, 2014 3:31 pm Photos

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Competency hearing scheduled in Sherry Arnold case

Competency hearing scheduled in Sherry Arnold case

A Montana judge has scheduled a two-day competency hearing to determine if a Colorado man charged with killing a high school teacher is fit for trial.

February 05, 2014 11:51 am Related Loading…
Community still healing from teacher's slaying; suspect awaits evaluation

Community still healing from teacher's slaying; suspect awaits evaluation

SIDNEY — The killing of a much-loved high school teacher nearly two years ago has weighed heavily in rural Montana. Hundreds of people helped search for Sherry Arnold and calls for frontier-style justice greeted the arrest of the man accused of killing her. Today, the fate of 24-year-old Mic…

December 06, 2013 11:00 am Photos

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Sidney teacher murder trial delayed for competency tests

Sidney teacher murder trial delayed for competency tests

A state judge has delayed a January trial in the killing of an eastern Montana teacher after state health officials requested more time to conduct a competency evaluation on the defendant.

December 04, 2013 5:10 pm Related Loading…
Montana judge orders mental exam for suspect in teacher slaying

Montana judge orders mental exam for suspect in teacher slaying

A state judge on Monday ordered a Colorado man charged with killing an Eastern Montana teacher to be committed to a state mental institution for examination.

November 04, 2013 3:32 pmLoading…
Michael Spell

Michael Spell

Michael Keith Spell appears in court on Feb. 28, 2012. Attorneys for Spell, who has been charged in the murder of Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold, say the defendant was diagnosed with mental disability following a recent evaluation at Montana State Hospital.

November 01, 2013 10:33 pmLoading…
Attorneys: Man unfit for Arnold homicide trial in Montana

Attorneys: Man unfit for Arnold homicide trial in Montana

Attorneys for a Colorado man charged with killing an Eastern Montana teacher filed court papers Friday saying his mental disabilities render him unfit to stand trial in a case that could carry the death penalty.

November 01, 2013 12:09 pmLoading…
Judge moves Sherry Arnold homicide trial to Glendive

Judge moves Sherry Arnold homicide trial to Glendive

A state judge on Thursday moved the trial of a Colorado man charged with killing a popular eastern Montana teacher after defense attorneys argued that he could not receive a fair hearing in her hometown.

October 24, 2013 3:17 pm Photos

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Defense seeks to move Sherry Arnold homicide trial

Defense seeks to move Sherry Arnold homicide trial

Attorneys for a Colorado man accused of killing teacher Sherry Arnold are due in court Thursday to argue for the relocation of his trial because of the heavy publicity the case has received in the small eastern Montana community where Arnold taught high school math.

October 24, 2013 12:15 amLoading…
Michael Keith Spell

Michael Keith Spell

Michael Keith Spell appears before District Judge Katherine Irigoin in the case of missing Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012.

October 24, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Judge sets death penalty hearing for suspect in teacher slaying

Judge sets death penalty hearing for suspect in teacher slaying

A judge has scheduled a November hearing to decide whether a Colorado man charged with killing an Eastern Montana teacher should be declared ineligible for the death penalty.

September 28, 2013 6:50 am Photos

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Prosecutors want murder trial in Sidney

Prosecutors want murder trial in Sidney

Montana prosecutors have asked a judge to keep the trial in the murder of a high school teacher in her hometown of Sidney, after defense attorneys sought to have the case moved because of fears of bias among potential jurors.

August 29, 2013 11:11 amLoading…

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