KY high court clears way for death row inmate mental exam

FRANKFORT, KY (AP) - The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that the state's longest-serving death row inmate may undergo a mental exam at a state facility to see if he's mentally retarded.

The high court unanimously on Thursday declined to stop a judge's order sending 51-year-old Karu Gene White to the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center for an exam.

White had sought to use $5,000 in taxpayer funds to hire a doctor to determine if he's mentally retarded and ineligible for lethal injection. Special Judge Gary D. Payne rejected that request and ordered the exam be done at the state facility.

White was sentenced to death in 1980 for the murders of three people. Prosecutors said White and two companions robbed a store in 1979 and bludgeoned to death Charles Gross, his wife Lola Gross and Sam Chaney.

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