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Missouri Supreme Court Weighs Death Penalty In Triple Murder


Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments over whether a convicted killer's death sentence should be commuted to life without parole.

Andrew Lyons was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter for the 1992 shotgun killings of his girlfriend, her mother, and the couple's 11-month-old son. Lyon's attorney, Frederick Duchardt argued before the High Court that his client is, quote, "mentally retarded:"

Duchardt "He had to live with others throughout his life for a brief period of time; he lived by himself, and basically, as his family put it, he lives like an animal.'"

Attorney Stephen Hawke, arguing for the state, told the High Court that Lyons was given an IQ test before his murder trial:

Hawke: "He scored the number 84, which is, when you're looking at IQ numbers, the number 70 is the magical number that is where the bright line is between mental retardation on one side and borderline intelligence."

The State Supreme Court will issue its ruling later

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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