The Ohio Supreme Court has delayed a condemned killer's execution to allow time for him to be treated for mental illness.
CLEVELAND - A judge who has heard conflicting testimony must decide whether a condemned killer who says the CIA is plotting against him is mentally competent to face execution.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Stuart Friedman expects testimony from two final witnesses in Thursday's third day of testimony in the competency hearing for Abdul Awkal, 53.
Awkal received a last-minute reprieve from Gov. John Kasich last week. He was sentenced to death for killing his estranged wife and brother-in-law in a Cleveland courthouse in 1992.
The judge didn't indicate when he would rule. The new execution date is Wednesday.
A psychiatrist testifying Wednesday for the state said Awkal is mentally competent, disputing a defense claim that he is too psychotic to be executed.
"Mr. Awkal had a motive to distort information. Here's a man fighting for his life," Dr. Stephen Noffsinger testified.
Noffsinger testified that Awkal is mentally competent and had a motive to claim that the CIA has conspired against him.
A death penalty opponent who has advised the Awkal defense testified that Awkal feels remorse for the killings but opposed seeking clemency, believing the CIA was pushing for his execution.
David Singleton of Cincinnati's Ohio Justice and Policy Center said he has met with Awkal and urged him to seek clemency.
A defense expert, Dr. Pablo Stewart, interviewed Awkal on May 25 and said in an affidavit that Awkal has delusions and is mentally incompetent to be executed because he lacks a rational understanding of why he faces the death sentence.
Awkal was sentenced to death for killing his estranged wife, Latife Awkal, and brother-in-law Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz in January 1992 in a room where the Awkals were to take up divorce and custody issues.
Awkal's mental health has been the subject of court hearings for years.
An inmate is too mentally ill to be executed for the killings of his wife and brother-in-law, a judge ruled Friday in a decision that comes just a week after the governor issued a reprieve hours before the man was set to die.
A judge who has heard conflicting testimony must decide whether a condemned killer who says the CIA is plotting against him is mentally competent to face execution.
A death penalty opponent says a condemned killer facing execution next week in Ohio feels remorse for killing his wife and brother-in-law in a Cleveland courthouse in 1992.
A psychiatrist testifying Wednesday for the state said a condemned killer facing execution next week is mentally competent, disputing a defense claim that he is too psychotic to be executed.
A hearing was scheduled to continue Wednesday for a condemned Ohio inmate believed by his attorneys to be too mentally ill to be executed.
The prosecutor who helped send the killer of a Youngstown store owner to death row told the state Parole Board on Tuesday that the condemned inmate should be spared.
Republican Gov. John Kasich on Tuesday issued a rare last-minute reprieve for a condemned killer, sparing Abdul Awkal for two weeks to allow a judge to hold a hearing on his mental competency.
The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a request to delay the execution of a condemned killer of two to allow a lower court to hold a hearing on whether he is so mentally ill that he should not be put to death.
A condemned Ohio inmate awaiting execution in less than a day is in good spirits and has ordered a last meal consisting mostly of vegetables.