Sherry Arnold Murder Case: Two Years Later - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Sherry Arnold Murder Case: Two Years Later

Sherry Arnold Murder Case: Two Years Later

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It's been two years since a Sidney, Montana school teacher was abducted from the streets of her town and murdered.

Sherry Arnold's death shocked the eastern Montana town.

And today, two years after that shock, one of the two men charged with her kidnapping and killing is still awaiting trial.

Jim Olson reports.

Two years ago, the people of Sidney and the region were still hopeful - still hoping they could search and find Sherry Arnold somewhere nearby, perhaps injured while out jogging and needing to be rescued.

But the truth turned out to be much more sinister - the popular teacher had been killed.

24-year-old Michael Keith Spell was scheduled to go on trial in the Arnold case Monday, but the trial has been put on hold while the state of Montana conducts a psychiatric evaluation of Spell.

Spell and Lester Van Waters, both from Colorado, had just come to the region in 2012, looking for oil jobs.

According to Waters, the two were high on cocaine when they cruised the streets of Sidney looking for women on that January morning.

The pair spotted Arnold out for a jog and abducted her, eventually killing her and dumping her body near Williston.

Waters has pleaded guilty to the crime, avoiding the death penalty and agreeing to testify against Spell.

But as the trial date for Spell approached in the past month, Spell's attorneys maintain that Spell has an I-Q under 75 and can't be put to death due to a previous Supreme Court ruling that forbade the death sentence for the mentally disabled.

The state requested the further evaluation of Spell, delaying the trial into the third year since Arnold's death.The bottom line? Two years after the abduction and death of a well-loved member of their community, the people of Sidney are still waiting to see what form of justice awaits the killers of Sherry Arnold.

If and when a trial for Spell begins, it will be held in Glendive - it was moved there due to pre-trial publicity in Sidney.

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