Death Case Had No Judge for 16 Months

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A judge has been appointed to Kentucky's longest-running death row case after an Associated Press inquiry into why it had been pending 16 months without one.

The case of 54-year-old Karu Gene White, sentenced to death in 1980 for killing three people, had been on hold due to questions about whether he is mentally disabled.

Chief Regional Circuit Judge John David Caudill of Floyd County appointed himself Wednesday to oversee White's case, an appeal that has been pending for more than a decade.

The Administrative Office of the Courts told The Associated Press the court system had been unaware there were issues in White's case.

White was sentenced to death for the killings of 75-year-old Charles Gross; his wife, 74-year-old Lula Gross; and 79-year-old Sam Chaney during a robbery of a small store in Breathitt County in 1979.

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