Prosecutors ended their pursuit of the death penalty for a Colorado man who experts said was mentally disabled after he was charged in the killing of a teacher in Montana's oil patch, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
A mentally disabled Colorado man is fit to stand trial in the killing of a Montana teacher who disappeared after going out for a morning jog, according to a Friday ruling from a state judge in a case that has highlighted the social changes brought by an oil boom sweeping the Northern Plains.
Attorneys for a Colorado man charged with killing a Sidney High teacher are asking a judge to declare the defendant incompetent to stand trial.
SIDNEY — One of the men accused of killing an Eastern Montana high school teacher has made a deal with prosecutors that will spare him the death penalty in exchange for his testimony against his co-defendant.
Drought, lightning and bad luck turned the 2012 fire season into Montana’s worst in more than 100 years, making it one of the biggest news stories of the past year.
Lester Van Waters, left, and Michael Keith Spell appear in court in February 2012. They are charged with the murder and kidnapping of Sidney schoolteacher Sherry Arnold.
The suspects in the disappearance and killing of a Sidney teacher have pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted kidnapping.
The suspects in the killing of Eastern Montana teacher Sherry Arnold are due in state court in Sidney on Tuesday to face new murder charges filed by prosecutors who are seeking the death penalty.
A state judge in Glendive has accepted jurisdiction in the aggravated-kidnapping cases against two Colorado men accused of abducting and killing Sidney schoolteacher Sherry Arnold.
HELENA -- Two men suspected of kidnapping a Sidney schoolteacher and burying her body in a shallow grave in North Dakota have asked that a new judge to be assigned to their case.
Sidney isn't the first small town in the West to get run over by a gold rush, in this case black gold — more than 16 million barrels of crude being pumped every month from the massive Bakken oil field beneath eastern Montana and western North Dakota.
SIDNEY — Family and friends of one of the two suspects in a brutal Montana kidnapping described him as an illiterate young father who was eager for work when he fell under the sway of a convicted criminal promising lucrative employment in the Bakken oil fields.
More than five weeks had passed since Michael Spell and Lester Van Waters Jr. were arrested and jailed in the Sherry Arnold case before the charging information was released late Friday afternoon.
Sherry Arnold, a Sidney High math teacher missing since Jan. 7, was choked to death and is likely buried in a remote area near Williston, N.D., according to court documents filed late Friday in Richland County District Court.
Objection to Transfer of Custody
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has signed extradition papers submitted by Montana authorities seeking to prosecute two men for the abduction of Sidney school teacher Sherry Arnold.
Two men suspected in the disappearance of Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold have been identified as residents of Parachute, Colo. — like Sidney, a town with major oil and gas development.
Michael Spell and Lester Waters, Jr.