Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has denied a last-minute attempt to delay the execution of a convicted serial killer who claims he's intellectually disabled.
Attorneys for Alfredo Prieto -- who will be the first Virginia inmate to be executed in nearly three years -- had asked McAuliffe to grant a temporary reprieve of his Oct. 1 execution so that the 49-year-old can be transferred to California. His lawyers there hope to argue that Prieto is ineligible for the death penalty because he's intellectually disabled.
"After a thorough review of the facts of this case, the actions of the various federal and state courts, and the petitions and recommendations of individuals representing both Mr. Prieto and the families of his victims, I have decided not to intervene in this execution," McAuliffe said in a statement.
"It is the Governor’s responsibility to ensure that the laws of the Commonwealth are properly carried out unless circumstances merit a stay or commutation of the sentence," he continued. "After extensive review and deliberation, I have found no such circumstances, and have thus decided that this execution will move forward. I will continue to pray for all of the individuals and families affected by these tragic and horrible crimes.”
A federal appeals court in Virginia upheld Prieto's conviction in June, saying he failed to prove that no reasonable juror would find him eligible for execution.
Prieto was already on death row in California for raping and murdering a 15-year-old girl when he was sentenced to death in 2010 for the 1988 murders of Rachael Raver and Warren Fulton III in Fairfax County.