Prosecutors say they no longer will pursue the death penalty against a Colorado man suspected of killing a teacher in eastern Montana's oil patch.
Tuesday's move by Richland County Attorney Mike Weber comes after psychiatrists determined 25-year-old Michael Keith Spell is mentally disabled.
Spell is charged with killing 43-year-old Sherry Arnold, who disappeared while jogging along a Sidney street in 2012.
Weber cited a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said executing mentally disabled criminals constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
A state judge on Friday rejected attempts by Spell's attorneys to have him declared incompetent. That would have let him avoid trial.
Spell now faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted on charges of attempted kidnapping and deliberate homicide.
An accomplice pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors.
Most Popular Today
- 1.Your Money Matters
Denny Sanford To Donate $25 Million For Scholarship Program
- 2.Your Money Matters
Denny Sanford's Multi-Million Solution To Worker Shortage
Sony Cancels 'The Interview' Dec. 25 Release
New Manager Named For South Dakota State Fair
Top Theater Chains Cancel 'The Interview' Showings
- 6.Gas & Energy
Sioux Falls Average Gas Price Among The Lowest In U.S.
- 7.Meetings & Events, High School
HS Basketball To Fill Pentagon
Sturgis Officials Planning For 2015 Rally Traffic
SDN Communications To Buy Sioux Valley Wireless
- 10.Retail & Restaurants
December 18 Is 'Free Shipping Day'