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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Latest on Arkansas' plans to conduct several executions this month (all times local):
One of the five Arkansas inmates who are still scheduled to die before the end of the month is due at a hearing regarding his request for further DNA testing of evidence from his case.
Ledell Lee was moved from prison Tuesday morning and was expected at a 1:30 p.m. hearing in Little Rock. He is one of two inmates scheduled for execution Thursday.
The 51-year-old Lee was sentenced to die for the 1993 killing of his neighbor Debra Reese, who was struck 36 times with a baseball bat-like tool. He is also serving prison time for the rapes of a woman and teen from Jacksonville.
His attorneys have separately asked a federal judge to consider claims that Lee has fetal alcohol syndrome, brain damage and an intellectual disability. Earlier Tuesday, the judge ordered that Lee receive a psychological evaluation Wednesday.
The state attorney general's office says there are no current legal obstacles to executing Lee as scheduled.
Arkansas officials are vowing to carry out a double execution later this week after the U.S. Supreme Court scuttled the state's plan to resume capital punishment for the first time in nearly 12 years by refusing to lift an order minutes before a condemned man was scheduled to die.
The court's decision late Monday was the second time Don Davis had been granted a reprieve — he was within hours of death in 2010. It capped a chaotic day of legal wrangling to clear the obstacles Arkansas faced to carrying out its first executions since 2005.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says there are five scheduled executions remaining and no legal obstacles to carrying them out, although she expects lawyers for the inmates to file fresh court challenges. The next two are scheduled for Thursday.