Posted: Feb 14, 2012 3:58 PM by Amanda Venegas - Q2 News
Updated: Feb 15, 2012 7:27 AM
NEW: Two Colorado men accused of kidnapping and possibly killing Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold are now back in custody in Montana. Lester Waters Jr., 47, and Michael Spell, 22, made their initial appearances in a Sidney courtroom Tuesday afternoon. The men are each facing a felony charge of aggravated kidnapping.
According to the Sidney Herald, Spell was represented by Randi Hood. He waived reading of the charges and opted to have charges filed in the Seventh Judicial District Court. He is scheduled to appear in District Court at 2 p.m. Feb. 28 with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. The Herald says bond was set for Spell at $2.5 million.
The Herald says Waters was represented by attorney Cynthia Thornton. A preliminary examination was set for Feb. 24 at 10:30 a.m. in Sidney City Court. He will then appear in District Court at 2 p.m. Feb. 28. Mohr also set his bond at $2.5 million.
The quick court appearance comes after a North Dakota Court Judge granted a motion to extradite Waters and Spell to Montana after verifying that the men are the suspects in the case. The judge ordered that both men be transported today from North Dakota to Montana.
Just last week, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer signed an extradition warrant for the two men, requesting they be brought back to Montana. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed the warrants, authorizing the extradition.
In the North Dakota courtoom Tuesday morning, the suspects showed no emotion as arguments were heard. Tuesday's hearing uncovered no new information in the case. Waters' and Spell's attorneys tried to argue that Montana authorities did not have a probable cause in its arrest warrants and there was not evidence linking them to the crime. The North Dakota State Attorney said it was not for the state of North Dakota to question the cause, but to verify the men are the suspects in the case and return them to Montana.
The suspects have been in the Williams County Detention Center since Jan. 13. They are being held on a $2.5 million bond each.
In January, authorities took Waters into custody in Williams County and Spell was originally detained for questioning in Rapid City, South Dakota and returned to Williams County.
Waters and Spell face felony aggravated kidnapping charges in Montana for the kidnapping of Arnold. Court documents state on or about Jan.7, the men kidnapped Arnold along the Truck Route in Sidney. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty or life imprisonment.
Authorities have not recovered the body of the missing teacher. Her body is believed to be buried somewhere in extreme northeast Montana or northwest North Dakota. If her body is found in another state, the case would then become a federal case for crossing state lines.