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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A judge has denied Willie Jerome Manning’s request for a new trial in the 1993 slayings of a 90-year-old woman and her 60-year-old daughter in Starkville.

Oktibbeha County Circuit Judge Lee Howard handed down his ruling Tuesday, and Manning’s attorneys can appeal it.

Manning had been set for lethal injection May 7 in a separate case — the 1992 slayings of two Mississippi State University students.

The state Supreme Court blocked the execution hours before it was scheduled. Justices didn’t explain their action, but Manning had argued that DNA tests would prove him innocent.

Manning was convicted in 1996 in the slayings of Emmoline Jimmerson and her daughter Alberta Jordan. The women were beaten and their throats slashed during a robbery attempt at their apartment.

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