An Alabama inmate who has spent almost 30 years on death row for a murder he denies committing has an unusual supporter in his bid for freedom: A state judge who represented the man's co-defendant while working as a defense lawyer.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Tommy Nail tells The Associated Press he believes Donnis George Musgrove and another man were wrongly convicted of capital murder in 1988.

Nail says he hopes a federal court now reviewing Musgrove's appeal corrects the error.

Nail has been a judge since 1999. In the 1980s he represented David Rogers when Rogers and Musgrove were convicted in the gunshot killing of Coy Eugene Barron. Both men received the death sentence.

Rogers died in prison, and Musgrove is asking a federal judge to overturn his case.