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Judge rules man mentally fit for execution in Ohio couple's sledgehammer slayings


AKRON, Ohio — A northeast Ohio judge has ruled that a man convicted of beating his girlfriend's parents to death with a sledgehammer is mentally fit for execution.

Summit County Judge Tom Parker ruled Thursday that 20-year-old Shawn Ford Jr.'s intellectual ability is above the standard that bars executions. Northeast Ohio Media Group reports (http://bit.ly/1FE2k0D) Parker will decide Monday whether to accept a jury's recommendation that Ford be put on death row or sentence him to prison.

Defense attorneys had argued that Ford's low IQ prevented him from receiving the death penalty.

Ford was convicted in October of aggravated murder in the 2013 deaths of Margaret and Jeffrey Schobert of New Franklin.

Prosecutors say Ford killed the Schoberts in their home near Akron because they kept him from seeing their daughter.

Information from: Northeast Ohio Media Group, http://www.cleveland.com

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