Defendant in teacher's killing returned to Sidney
A Colorado man charged with killing an eastern Montana teacher has been returned to jail following a lengthy evaluation to see if he's fit for trial.
The Richland County Sheriff's Office said Friday that Michael Spell had returned to the county detention center from the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs, where he has been since November.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the 2012 killing of Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold.
Attorneys for the 24-year-old defendant say he has mental disabilities that render him unable to understand the case against him or assist in his defense.
State District Judge Richard Simonton has ordered the psychiatric hospital to complete Spell's competency report by Jan. 31.
Co-defendant Lester Van Waters, Jr. pleaded guilty under a deal with prosecutors. He's awaiting sentencing.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.