Court must consider death row inmate's claims

By: TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press Writer
By: TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- An appeals court is giving death row inmate Gregory Thompson another chance to prove he had ineffective counsel at trial.

Thompson was convicted of killing Brenda Blanton Lane, a 28-year-old former newspaper reporter, with a rusty knife after abducting her from a Shelbyville Wal-Mart parking lot in 1985.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Friday asked the district court to consider four claims of ineffective assistance. The appeals court also overturned a lower court by ruling that Thompson deserves an evidentiary hearing on whether he is mentally competent to be executed.

That hearing will only take place if the district court first rejects the ineffective assistance claims on their merits.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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