A Chesnee man may face a death-penalty trial for killing an 8-year-old girl.


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - A judge is deciding whether a Chesnee man can face a death penalty trial for killing an 8-year-old girl.

Authorities say Ricky Blackwell Sr. grabbed the child in a headlock in July 2009 and shot her in the head after an argument with his ex-wife. The girl was the daughter of Blackwell's ex-wife's boyfriend.

The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reports a judge has heard three days of testimony about whether Blackwell has an IQ high enough for the state to seek to put him to death.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 it is unconstitutional to seek the death penalty against someone with an intellectual disability.

Several psychologists testified about Blackwell's job and school records.

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