Man gets 80 years in teacher's oil-patch killing - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Man gets 80 years in teacher's oil-patch killing

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A Colorado man has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for killing a Montana teacher in the Northern Plains oil patch. A Colorado man has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for killing a Montana teacher in the Northern Plains oil patch.
BILLINGS, Mont. -

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A Colorado man has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for killing a Montana teacher in the Northern Plains oil patch.

Court officials say Montana District Judge Richard Simonton sentenced 50-year-old Lester Van Waters Jr. on Monday in Sidney, Montana. An additional 20 years in prison was suspended.

Waters pleaded guilty last year to deliberate homicide by accountability.

Authorities said he and an accomplice killed 43-year-old Sidney High School math teacher Sherry Arnold during an attempted abduction. Her body was found more than two months later buried in a rural area of North Dakota.

The case tragically illustrated the dramatic social changes that have come with an oil boom that's boosted the region's economy.

The accomplice pleaded guilty last month to deliberate homicide. His sentencing has not been scheduled.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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