Ohio man facing death penalty rejects defense

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio man has rejected a legal argument that could spare him from the death penalty in the killing of a pizzeria owner during a robbery last summer.

Attorneys for 28-year-old John Deloney of Cincinnati argued Friday in Hamilton County court that their client should be declared "mentally retarded" under Ohio law.

Although many consider the term offensive, Ohio law uses it to define anyone with an IQ below 70. Those who fall into the category are ineligible for the death penalty.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1oaKP1E) that an agitated Deloney told the judge in the case that he's not mentally disabled and demanded that his trial start immediately.

Deloney's attorneys then withdrew from the case, and the judge set a hearing next week to appoint new lawyers.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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