Huntsville: The US Supreme Court cleared the way for the execution of a Texas death row inmate whose lawyers say is ineligible for the death penalty because of his low IQ.
Marvin Wilson, 54, was sentenced to death for killing a police informant two decades ago. His attorneys pointed to a psychological test that pegged his IQ at 61, below the threshold of 70 that would suggest he's mentally impaired. But lower courts agreed with state attorneys who questioned the test's validity.
The Supreme Court denied his request for a stay of execution less than two hours before his scheduled 6 pm lethal injection.
Attorneys for the state argued Wilson's claim was based on a single 2004 test that may have been faulty and that his mental impairment claim wasn't supported by other tests and assessments of him over the years.
Wilson was convicted of murdering 21-year-old Jerry Williams in November 1992, several days after police seized 24 grams of cocaine from Wilson's apartment and arrested him.
Witnesses testified Wilson and another man, Andrew Lewis, beat Williams outside of a convenience store. Wilson, who was free on bond, accused Williams of snitching on him about the drugs, they said.
Witnesses said the Wilson and Lewis then abducted Williams, and neighbourhood residents said they heard a gunshot a short time later. Williams was found dead on the side of a road the next day, wearing only socks. He had been severely beaten and shot in the head and neck at close range.
Wilson was arrested the next day when he reported to his parole officer on a robbery conviction for which he served less than four years of a 20-year prison sentence. It was the second time he had been sent to prison for robbery.
At Wilson's capital murder trial, Lewis' wife testified Wilson confessed to the killing in front of her, her husband and his own wife.
"Don't be mad at Andrew because Andrew did not do it," Lewis' wife said Wilson told them. "I did it."
Lewis received a life prison term for his involvement.
First Published: Wednesday, August 08, 2012, 10:17