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Federal appeals court halts Georgia execution

JACKSON, Ga. – A federal appeals court has halted the execution of a Georgia man who killed a fellow inmate in 1990.

Defense attorney Brian Kammer said that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of execution to Warren Lee Hill, who had been set to die Tuesday.

Kammer said in an email that he was greatly relieved by the ruling.

Hill was convicted in the Aug. 17, 1990 beating death of Joseph Handspike. Hill was serving a life sentence at the time for the slaying of his 18-year-old girlfriend, who was shot 11 times.

Hill’s lawyer had argued his client is mentally disabled and shouldn’t be executed. The state argued the defense failed to meet its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Hill is mentally disabled.

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Associated Press writer Christina Almeida Cassidy contributed to this report.

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