David Leroy Skaggs Ruling

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A special judge has ruled that a man on Kentucky's Death Row for 25 years was not mentally retarded when he robbed and killed an elderly couple.

It's the latest twist in a long running debate over the mental capacity of David Leroy Skaggs.

Special Judge Thomas Castlen ruled that Skaggs "is not a seriously mentally retarded offender."

The 56-year-old Skaggs has been twice sentenced to death for the May 1981 killings of Herman and Mae Matthews in Barren County.

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in November that there were enough questions about whether Skaggs was mentally retarded to warrant another hearing in Barren Circuit Court.

A state law prohibits the execution of anyone with an IQ of 70 or below. Various tests over the years have put Skaggs' IQ at somewhere from 64 to 73.


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