BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Attorneys for a Parachute man accused of murdering a teacher in Montana’s oil patch want his accomplice to appear as a defense witness when the case goes to trial.
Twenty-five-year-old Michael Keith Spell could face life in prison if convicted in the 2012 killing of 43-year-old Sherry Arnold.
His accomplice, Lester Van Waters, Jr., pleaded guilty last year to deliberate homicide by accountability in a deal with prosecutors sparing him the death penalty.
Spell’s attorneys said in documents filed Friday that statements by Waters during his plea hearing show Spell did not intend to injure Arnold.
Prosecutors say Spell grabbed Arnold while she was jogging and choked or otherwise asphyxiated the Sidney High School math teacher.
Her body was found more than two months later in neighboring North Dakota.

DENVER (AP) — Citizens United is suing after the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office ruled a movie the conservative group is producing falls under state campaign laws. The group sued Secretary of State Scott Gessler in federal court in Denver, saying it deserved the same free-speech protections as traditional media and liberal documentary filmmakers. Citizens United is finishing a movie called “Rocky Mountain Heist” about those it says have influenced Colorado’s recent political swing to the left.

CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) — Authorities have identified four motorcyclists suspected of attacking a Denver-area family in southern Colorado over July 4th weekend. The Canon City Daily Record reports the Custer County Sheriff’s Office has issued arrest warrants for three men and one woman believed to be part of the Valiant motorcycle gang. The newspaper didn’t name the suspects or victims at the request of authorities.

FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) — Fort Carson is honoring two soldiers killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan last month. Soldiers are gathering at the post near Colorado Springs today for a memorial service for Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange of Nebraska and Pfc. Keith Williams of California. Both were members of the last combat brigade from Fort Carson serving in Afghanistan.

DENVER (AP) — Coloradans joined thousands of people across the country in holding protest vigils for an unarmed black Missouri teen fatally shot by police and other victims of alleged police brutality. About 200 people gathered in Denver last evening in a park across from the state Capitol. In Colorado Springs, about 70 people chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot” on the steps of city hall.