Judge Asked to Toss Statement in Oil-Patch Slaying
A Montana judge will decide if a suspect’s alleged confession to his involvement in the slaying of a woman jogger should be suppressed because the defendant is mentally disabled.
District Judge Richard Simonton has scheduled an Oct. 1 hearing in Sidney in the case of 25-year-old Michael Spell of Parachute, Colorado.
Spell is accused of killing 43-year-old Sherry Arnold during an attempted abduction. The high school teacher disappeared while jogging in Sidney in January 2012. Her body was found more than two months later in North Dakota.
Spell’s attorney says he was not mentally capable of waiving his rights to remain silent and have an attorney present for the FBI interview.
Prosecutors say Spell’s statements were lawfully obtained.
A second defendant has pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors.