WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Warren man, on death row for the brutal beating of an elderly couple, is appealing his sentence by claiming he was mentally disabled at the time of the crime.
Andre Williams was convicted of the 1988 attack that killed George Melnick and blinded Melnick’s wife, Katherine.
Over a year ago, an appeals court said that Williams could continue his appeal, ruling the state courts failed to properly apply federal law governing claims of mental disability in capital punishment cases.
The federal court also said that a lower court ruled improperly when it refused to recognize evidence of Williams’ disabilities that dated back to when he was a teenager.
Under federal law, someone with a severe enough mental disability may be ineligible for the death penalty.
Williams’ co-defendant Christopher Daniel is serving a life sentence.