PHOENIX — A judge has ruled that an Arizona prisoner convicted in the 1978 killing of a university student is mentally fit to be put to death next week.
That keeps on track what would be the first execution in the state in nearly eight years.
Pinal County Superior Court Judge Robert Olson rejected defense lawyers' argument that Clarence Dixon's psychological problems prevent him from rationally understanding why the state wants to end his life.
Dixon was convicted of murder in the killing of 21-year-old Arizona State University student Deana Bowdoin.
The ruling was signed late Tuesday night and released on Wednesday. Dixon's lawyers said they will appeal the ruling.