Day 2: Competency Hearing for Michael Spell - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Day 2: Competency Hearing for Michael Spell

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SIDNEY -

Tuesday was the second day of the competency hearing for Michael Spell. He is accused of kidnapping and killing Sidney High School teacher Sherry Arnold.

The hearing shifted on Tuesday when Doctor Virginia Hill from the Montana State Hospital took the stand, testifying that Michael Spell is disabled, but fit to stand trial.

Two out of state doctors we heard from on Monday argued the Spell's IQ level was so low that he would not be able to stand trial. The defense doctors remarked his memories were poor and that he could not communicate effectively with his defense team. They also said Spell's testimony after he was arrested for allegedly killing Sherry Arnold could not be trusted.

Doctor Virginia Hill agreed that 'yes' Spell could have a mental disability but he could be exaggerating his condition in what medical experts call "malingering." Dr. Hill says Spell has a good relationship with his attorneys and has a good understanding of his case. She says Spell told her, "they don't got no proof, it's all hearsay."

Dr. Hill also says Spell was social with other patients and even manipulated lower functioning patients to get what he wanted. Dr. Hill says he showed motivation for only things he wanted. When Spell was denied medication, Dr. Hill testified that Spell said, "you will be sorry if I lose it."

The judge will have to decide which doctor is correct.

We have not yet heard from Michael Spell.

Members of Sherry Arnold's family were in court listening to the testimony.

Prosecutors planned to call a second doctor, Judge Richard Simonton said he did not need to hear from that doctor.

The judge says he is not sure when he will rule on the competency hearing but it should be soon.

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