Q2 Morning Email Newsletter

May 16, 2012 9:34 AM by Q2 Amanda Venegas

Suspects in Sherry Arnold case plead not guilty to murder charges

UPDATED: SIDNEY - Two Colorado men accused of kidnapping and killing the Sidney teacher pleaded not guilty to murder charges on Tuesday. Michael Spell and Lester Waters Junior both appeared in Richland County District Court Tuesday afternoon facing new charges that were amended just last week.

Judge Richard Simonton asked each defendant the usual questions, such as if they were under the influence of drugs or if they were in the right mental state. According to the Sidney Herald, it was then that Spell's attorney told the judge there were some issues concerning her client's competency, but she told the judge she explained to Spell what was going on. The questioning of Spell's competency could play out as the case unfolds.

Lester Waters Jr. and Michael Spell each pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide and attempted kidnapping charges Tuesday. The suspects also appeared with new counsel Tuesday. Because the men are facing the death penalty, they legally will have to have two attorneys with capital case backgrounds. Steven Scott will serve as Spell's second lawyer in addition to Randi Hood. Waters' will be represented by Cynthia Thornton and Gregory Jackson.

Omnibus hearings have been scheduled for July 17 for both men.

On January 7, Sherry Arnold went for a jog in Sidney and never returned home. Court documents give conflicting statements about who killed Sherry Arnold. One of the suspects eventually led authorities to Sherry's body in North Dakota.

Photos courtesy: Sidney Herald

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