NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A federal judge in Nashville this afternoon delayed the execution of one of the two convicted murderers scheduled to die early tomorrow.
US District Court Judge Todd Campbell ordered a hearing on whether Paul Dennis Reid is competent to drop his appeals.
Another condemned inmate -- Sedley Alley -- is still scheduled to be put to death early tomorrow in Nashville.
Reid, an aspiring country music singer, has seven death sentences for a string of 1997 murders over a three-month span that stirred fear in Nashville and Clarksville. Doctors have testified Reid is brain damaged and mentally ill. He was in a similar situation in 2003 and came within hours of execution before getting a stay.
Today the judge acted after a hearing on a motion from Reid's lawyers and his sister. The state is deciding whether to appeal it.
Alley was convicted of the 1985 rape and murder of a female Marine who was out for a jog near Memphis. His defense team today continued fighting his execution with petitions challenging the state's method of lethal injection. His lawyers also are seeking D-N-A testing on evidence from his case.