Lee Co. killer's stay lifted - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. killer's stay lifted

ATLANTA (AP) - A federal appeals court that halted the execution of a Georgia man has lifted its stay, clearing the way for a new execution date.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in at the last minute to temporarily block Warren Lee Hill's execution in February. The court said it wanted to consider Hill's arguments that a federal court should reconsider his case.

Hill was convicted in the 1990 beating death of fellow inmate Joseph Handspike at the Lee County Correctional Institute. Hill was serving a life sentence at the time for the killing of his girlfriend, who he shot 11 times.

In an opinion published Monday, the 11th Circuit says Hill's claim of mental disability was presented in an earlier petition and can't be presented again.

The circuit judges also say Hill's claim only challenges his eligibility for the death sentence, not his underlying guilt, making him ineligible for reconsideration.

Hill's lawyers asked for reconsideration based on new doctor statements regarding his mental disability.

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