WARREN Motion: Hill found not to be retarded
An IQ test administered to the convicted killer three years ago shows that he is not mentally retarded, prosecutors say.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A man convicted of the 1985 murder of a 12-year-old boy is not mentally retarded and should be eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors say.
Prosecutor Dennis Watkins and LuWayne Annos, an assistant prosecutor, filed a motion Thursday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court stating that Danny Lee Hill received an IQ test in 2000 and was found not to be mentally retarded.
The motion was filed in response to Hill's motion to vacate his death sentence.
The prosecutor's motion states that the U.S. Supreme Court didn't set an IQ level below which a person is determined to be retarded, but most states generally consider someone with an IQ of 70 or lower to be retarded. Hill's scores in 2000 show his IQ to be 71.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati stayed Hill's appeal process in August pending a ruling from a state court on his mental ability. The appeals court followed a June decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that it's unconstitutional to execute mentally retarded people.
Psychological exams from the 1980s show that Hill's IQ ranges from 55 to 68.
A hearing is set on the matter before Judge Andrew Logan on the matter sometime in March, court officials said.
Hill was convicted in 1986 for the murder of Raymond Fife. He was sentenced to death.
What's in the motion
Watkins stated in his motion that while incarcerated, Hill has been able to adapt to various activities and program. His "problems have been and will remain to be with behavior, not intelligence," the motion states.
At the time of Hill's trial, the trial court stated that "neither low intelligence nor impaired judgment were given significant weight since no high degree of intelligence was necessary to understand the events of rape, kidnapping, arson and murder as committed the night of the crime," the prosecutor's motion states.