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Dec 5, 9:20 PM EST

High court to hear Louisiana death row appeal

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from a death-row inmate in Louisiana who claims he should not be executed because he is mentally disabled.

Kevan Brumfield was convicted in the shooting death of off-duty Baton Rouge police Cpl. Betty Smothers in 1993.

A federal judge ruled that Brumfield was mentally disabled and thus protected from execution under a Supreme Court decision in 2002.

But the federal appeals court in New Orleans reversed the judge's ruling. The justices said Friday that they will review that ruling.

The case will be argued in March.

Brumfield and Henri Broadway of Baton Rouge were convicted and sentenced to death for ambushing Smothers on Jan. 7, 1993 as she was driving a grocery store manager to make a bank deposit. Smothers, 36, was working as an off-duty security officer at the time.

The manager was shot several times but survived the attack.

Smothers was the mother of former NFL running back Warrick Dunn, who was 18 at the time of the killing.

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