Court Debates Spell's Mental Capacity - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Court Debates Spell's Mental Capacity

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More than two-years have passed since teacher, Sherry Arnold, was kidnapped and murdered.

Today, Michael Spell's defense attorney argued Spell only has the mental capacity of an 11-year-old child and is unfit to stand trial.

Prosecutors called doctors to the stand who had observed Spell while he was at the Montana State Mental Hospital.

They intend to prove that Spell is indeed mentally fit to go on trial. Some Sidney residents say they're furious by the defense's tactics.

"We want justice for her. They're saying he has the mind of a 11-year-old, that doesn't matter.  he willingly snatched her off of the street," says Sidney resident Marlene Borchert.

"I mean, we heard that they took her and buried her, I think they should get the death penalty, just like anybody else would," says Sidney resident Amanda Johnson.

Spell's co-defendant, Lester Waters Jr. pleaded guilty to deliberate homicide to avoid the death penalty in exchange for his testimony against Spell.

There is no word on how this competency hearing might affect that agreement.

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