BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – A judge will decide if statements made to FBI agents by a Colorado man accused of murder in Montana’s oil patch should be suppressed because the defendant is mentally disabled.
Judge Richard Simonton on Thursday scheduled an Oct. 1 hearing in Glendive in the case of 25-year-old defendant Michael Keith Spell of Parachute, Colorado.
Spell is accused of killing 43-year-old Sherry Arnold during an attempted abduction as the high school teacher and mother of two was jogging in Sidney in January 2012. Her body was found more than two months later in North Dakota.
Richland County prosecutors dropped their pursuit of the death penalty for Spell after experts testified he has a mild mental disability.
Accomplice Lester Van Waters Jr. has pleaded guilty to deliberate homicide by accountability in a deal with prosecutors.
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