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Competency hearing scheduled in Sherry Arnold case


February 5, 2014

BILLINGS (AP) — 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.

District Judge Richard Simonton scheduled the hearing in the case of Michael Keith Spell for March 24 and 25 in Sidney.

The 24-year-old defendant from Parachute, Colo. is charged with killing Sidney High School teacher Sherry Arnold while attempting to abduct her on Jan. 7, 2012.

Spell's attorneys say he suffers from mental disabilities that render him unable to understand the case against him or assist in his defense.

Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty.

Co-defendant Lester Van Waters, Jr. pleaded guilty in the case last year under a deal with prosecutors. He is awaiting sentencing.


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