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Evaluation scheduled for man charged with murder

By Associated Press
Published On: Nov 07 2013 03:07:18 PM MST
Michael Keith Spell
HELENA, Mont. -

A mental evaluation has been scheduled for a Colorado man charged with killing an eastern Montana teacher in January 2012.
District Judge Richard Simonton signed an order Wednesday saying Michael Keith Spell can be admitted to the Montana State Hospital on Nov. 13 and ordered the Richland County sheriff's office to transport him to Warm Springs from the jail in Sidney.
Simonton ordered the up-to-30-day evaluation Monday at the request of defense attorneys who contend their client is mentally disabled and unable to understand the case against him.
The Parachute, Colo., man is charged with felony murder and attempted kidnapping in the death of Sherry Arnold in Sidney. He could face the death penalty if convicted. Spell's trial is scheduled to start on Jan. 6.