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Attorneys for northeast Ohio man say low IQ disallows death penalty in sledgehammer slayings

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AKRON, Ohio — Attorneys for a northeast Ohio man convicted of killing his girlfriend's parents with a sledgehammer argue their client's low IQ prevents him from receiving the death penalty.

The Akron jury that convicted 20-year-old Shawn Ford Jr. of aggravated murder in the slayings of Jeffrey and Margaret Schobert is now hearing evidence about whether to recommend the death penalty or life in prison for him.

A psychiatrist testified that Ford had an IQ of 62 as a 9-year-old. Other IQ tests resulted in scores of 64, 71 and 80. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year voted to stop the execution of a Florida man with IQ scores between 60 and 80.

Judge Tom Parker said Thursday he'd be willing to hold a hearing about the IQ issue.

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