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Montana Teacher Murder Suspects Plead Not Guilty

May 15, 2012, 4:24 PM

Montana Teacher Murder Suspects Plead Not Guilty
Sherry Arnold

BILLINGS, MT -

The suspects in the disappearance and killing of a Montana teacher have pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted kidnapping.

Forty-eight-year-old Lester Van Waters Jr. and 23-year-old Michael Spell were arraigned Tuesday on new charges filed since the March discovery of Sherry Arnold's body in a shallow grave in North Dakota.

The two Colorado men face the death penalty if convicted on charges of deliberate homicide.

State district Judge Richard Simonton in Sidney vacated trials for the two men originally set for July. They were not immediately rescheduled.

Arnold disappeared January 7 while on a morning jog in Sidney, Montana, a once-quiet boom town in the Bakken oil field.

Court documents indicate that Spell has blamed Waters for choking Arnold to death; Waters allegedly said Spell did it.

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