Death row inmate gets competency hearing

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ordered a competency hearing for death row inmate Terry Pitchford.

Pitchford had asked the Supreme Court for permission to pursue the competency issue in Grenada County Circuit Court. The court in a 5-2 order Thursday approved the request.

Pitchford, now 25, was 18 when he was charged with killing Grenada County store owner Ruben Britt. He was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to death.

Prosecutors say Britt was shot multiple times inside Crossroads Grocery in 2004. Prosecutors say one of the murder weapons was Britt’s own gun, which he kept at the store for protection. They say Britt’s gun was found in Pitchford’s car when he was arrested.

The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld Pitchford’s conviction in 2010.