MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has vacated two death sentences for a prison inmate with ties to Union City convicted of fatally stabbing a mother and daughter more than 30 years ago.
Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Paula Skahan signed an order Tuesday freeing Pervis Payne from death row.
Payne’s father, Carl Payne, lives in Union City.
The judge took action after Shelby County district attorney Amy Weirich announced that the state will no longer pursue its execution plans after an expert hired by prosecutors could not say that Payne was not intellectually disabled.
Payne now faces two life sentences.
He hugged his lawyer and wept before a hearing began in a Memphis court Tuesday.