CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) – A Warren man on death row for the brutal beating of an elderly couple may get his chance to escape the death penalty.
An appeals court ruled that Andre Williams can continue to appeal his sentence claiming he was mentally disabled at the time of the 1988 crime.
George Melnick was killed and his wife Katherine was blinded in the attack.
The U.S. 6th District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that state courts failed to properly apply federal law governing claims of mental disability in capital punishment cases.
The federal court said a lower court ruled improperly when it refused to recognize evidence of the 48-year-old Williams’ disabilities dating to when he was a teenager
Under federal law, someone with a severe enough mental disability may be ineligible for the death penalty.
Williams’ co-defendant, Christopher Daniel, is serving a life sentence.
(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)