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Published January 07 2013

Montana judge sets trials in teacher's slaying

BILLINGS, Mont. — A Montana judge has set trial dates for the two men accused in the murder of Sidney high school teacher Sherry Arnold.

Michael Keith Spell and Lester Van Waters, Jr. have pleaded not guilty to charges they grabbed Arnold from a Sidney street, killed her and buried her body in a North Dakota field.

On Monday, state District Judge Richard Simonton set trial dates of Nov. 4 for Waters and Jan. 6, 2014 for Spell.

The Colorado men face one count each of deliberate homicide and attempted kidnapping. Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty if the defendants are convicted.

Arnold was out for a morning run when she disappeared last January. Her body was not found for more than two months.