Montana News

Apr 27, 2012 9:44 PM by Angela Douglas (KTVQ Billings)

Suspects in Sherry Arnold's death charged with deliberate homicide

BILLINGS- New information in the case of Sherry Arnold has been released.

Michael Spell and Lester Waters Jr., both of Parachute, Colorado, are now facing deliberate homicide charges in addition to attempted kidnapping charges.

Court documents reveal new details surrounding the kidnapping and murder of the Sidney woman who went out for an early morning jog on January 7 and never returned home.

On January 13, Spell told investigators that he was the one who grabbed Arnold as she ran jogged by their vehicle on the "Truck Route" in the northeast part of Sidney, but Waters was the one who "choked her out" in the backseat of their vehicle.

However, on February 28 a man who had a conversation with Spell while both were incarcerated together in the sick bay area of the Williams County Law Enforcement Center Jail, was interviewed by an investigator.

According to the man, Spell told him that he approached Arnold as she jogged towards him on a path. Spell said Sherry said "hi" as they passed each other. Then, Spell said he turned around and speared Arnold in the back of the head and knocked her down.

Spell said he "choked her out" and pushed her face into some water and drowned her to make sure she was dead. He then picked her up and carried her to the vehicle. Spell told the man the reason for the abduction was he and Waters were high on drugs and Waters wanted to have sex.

According to Spell's girlfriend, who spoke with him on the phone prior to his arrest in Rapid City, South Dakota, Spell told her that Waters "made him shove her face in a puddle of mud, like water, until she was dead."

In January, Spell told investigators that Waters was smoking crack cocaine during the entire trip from Colorado to eastern Montana. Waters supposedly told Spell that crack cocaine brought "the devil" out in him and he was capable of doing anything while using crack cocaine. Spell said Waters began talking about kidnapping a killing a female. Spell said Waters identified a female in a public laundry who they intended to kidnap, but the lady left before they could carry out their plans.

The two men buried Arnold's body east of Williston in a shelter belt.

On March 19, Waters drew a map from the Williston Walmart to the burial site. He then guided investigators to the exact location of her shallow grave. Court documents say Waters became emotional, cried and stated, "I didn't kill that lady."

The two men left Parachute, CO on January 4, to look for work in the oil fields around Williston, ND.

Arnold's body was sent the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula. The autopsy revealed an unidentified material which was black and gritty in Arnold's stomach. A similar material was also observed in her trachea.

Thousands of people came together on March 30 for the funeral service of Arnold. The funeral was held at Sidney High School where the 43-year-old had taught for many years.


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