Condemned Killer Given Time to File Retardation Motion

JUNE 26, 2006 - Posted at 7:36 a.m. CST

TEXARKANA, AR - A federal judge has ruled that lawyers for condemned killer Joe Louis Dansby should have time to develop a filing that says he should not be executed because he is mentally retarded.

The 52-year-old Dansby, who is from Nevada County, is to be executed for the 1992 killings of 23-year-old Jeff Lewis and 21-year-old Melissa Clark, both of Prescott.  The victims were found shot to death near a logging road in Nevada County.

Dansby has exausted his state appeals.  He is now working at the federal level to have his two death sentences overturned.

Lawyers for Dansby say his IQ is below 70, which is the threshold the U.S. Supreme Court set to determine whether someone is mentally retarded.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)