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Defendant in teacher's killing returned to Sidney

Published On: Jan 17 2014 09:14:32 AM MST
Michael Keith Spell
BILLINGS, Mont. -

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.