Tennessee judge vacates 2 death sentences for Pervis Payne

 Tennessee judge vacates 2 death sentences for Pervis Payne

Carl Payne, front left, at microphone, speaks with reporters about his son, Tennessee prison inmate Pervis Payne, after a court hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. A judge on Tuesday signed an order vacating Pervis Payne’s two death sentences in the fatal stabbings of a mother and daughter 33 years ago. Also pictured are Pervis Payne’s lawyer, Kelley Henry (front, center) and his sister, Rolanda Holman (front, right). (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)

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.