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Prosecutor: Sidney Murder Confession Was Voluntary

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana prosecutor is asking a judge to accept a confession from an illiterate man charged in the killing of a high school teacher.

Defense attorneys have sought to suppress Michael Keith Spell’s alleged confession to the 2012 murder of 43-year-old Sherry Arnold of Sidney.

Deputy Richland County Attorney T.R. Halvorson said in court papers filed Friday that there was no evidence of police misconduct during interviews with Spell after his arrest.

Halvorson says officers made sure Spell understood he did not have to talk without a lawyer present.

Spell and co-defendant Lester Van Waters, Jr. have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty, although a pending defense motion would make Spell ineligible for capital punishment because of his mental disabilities.

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