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.Retail & Restaurants
Touch Of Europe Permanently Closed
- 2.Retail & Restaurants
Pizza Restaurant Coming To Downtown Sioux Falls
- 3.Your Money Matters
Catholic School Tuition Hike Largest In Years
- 4.Your Money Matters
Eastside Restaurant Row
Protecting Your Car From Rust
- 6.Retail & Restaurants
Sears 4Q Loss Narrows, Sales Slide As Business Shifts
- 7.Retail & Restaurants
Zoup Planning Second Sioux Falls' Location On Eastside
- 8.Retail & Restaurants
Restaurant To Donate Contributions To CMN Thursday
FCC Approves New Internet Regulations
Looking At 2015's Economic Outlook