Top Texas court reduces killer’s death sentence to life

In this May 27, 2008 file photo, the gurney in Huntsville, Texas, where Texas' condemned are strapped down to receive a lethal dose of drugs is shown. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, viewed historically as little more than a speedbump on condemned inmates' road to the death chamber, in recent weeks has halted the lethal injection of four inmates with execution dates approaching. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
In this May 27, 2008 file photo, the gurney in Huntsville, Texas, where Texas' condemned are strapped down to receive a lethal dose of drugs is shown. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, viewed historically as little more than a speedbump on condemned inmates' road to the death chamber, in recent weeks has halted the lethal injection of four inmates with execution dates approaching. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — A man on death row for killing a sheriff’s deputy during a 1983 bank robbery near San Antonio has had his sentence reduced to life in prison by the state’s highest criminal court.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals says 55-year-old Pedro Solis Sosa’s intellectual disabilities make him ineligible for execution. Sosa’s trial court recommended the sentence be reduced, and the appeals court cited a March ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in another Texas death row mental disability case to support Wednesday’s decision.

Sosa was convicted of the November 1983 shooting death of Ollie Childress Jr., a Wilson County sheriff’s deputy.

Records show Childress was abducted by Sosa and a nephew and used as a hostage in the bank holdup. He subsequently was killed with his own gun.