Court clears way for inmate to have mental hearing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Supreme Court has cleared the way for a death row inmate to pursue his claim of being mentally disabled and ineligible for the death penalty in a 1987 kidnapping, rape and slaying of a northern Kentucky woman.

The high court on Thursday declined to reconsider a ruling halting 56-year-old Gregory L. Wilson's execution. The decision means Wilson's case returns to Kenton Circuit Court for a hearing on his mental retardation claims as well as whether semen used as evidence in the case still exists and should be tested.

Wilson was sentenced to death for the 1987 killing of 36-year-old Debbie Pooley, a restaurant manager.

Kentucky is in the process of switching to a single-drug execution process and hasn't carried out a lethal injection since 2008.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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