Supreme Court Asks Judge to Clarify Ruling

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The Mississippi Supreme Court has asked a Copiah County judge to clarify his ruling that death row inmate Ricky Chase is mentally competent.

The justices say it appears the trial judge adopted findings submitted by prosecutors.

The justices say they want the judge to put the findings into his own words.

Chase was convicted and sentenced to death in 1990 for the Aug. 14, 1989, killing of 70-year-old vegetable salesman Elmer Hart in Copiah County.

Authorities said Hart apparently arrived at home as his wife was being robbed by Chase and another man.

Prosecutors say Hart's wife had been doused with an ammonia-like substance and tied up and gagged. They say she watched helplessly as her husband was shot.