A court hearing has been delayed for an Ohio man who confessed to a string of rapes and murders with his brother and now wants to be released from prison.

Attorneys for Nathaniel Cook asked to delay the hearing that had been scheduled for Thursday. Cook's next hearing is now set for July 26.

His attorneys say a plea deal signed nearly 20 years ago forces the court to order his release this year.

The judge overseeing the case asked in earlier hearings that Cook be evaluated further so she could have more information before making a decision.

An agreement with prosecutors two decades ago forced Cook to admit he killed three people in Toledo while his brother confessed to killing five others in the 1980s.

His brother is serving two life sentences.