Lawyers say federal death row prisoner from Kansas has Alzheimer's

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Wesley Purkey (Kansas Dept. of Corrections, 2000) Wesley Purkey (Kansas Dept. of Corrections, 2000)
Jennifer Long, 16, (left) was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by Wesley Purkey (right) in Kansas City on January 22, 1998. Jennifer Long, 16, (left) was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by Wesley Purkey (right) in Kansas City on January 22, 1998.
WASHINGTON (AP) -

Lawyers for a federal prisoner scheduled to be put to death next month are asking a judge to halt the execution because the prisoner has Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

Wesley Ira Purkey's lawsuit was filed late Tuesday in Washington. His execution is scheduled for Dec. 13.

Purkey is among five men whose executions were set by Attorney General William Barr in July. A judge has temporarily halted the executions. The Justice Department is appealing.

The suit alleges that Purkey isn't competent enough to be executed. His lawyers say the 67-year-old's condition is so far progressed that he doesn't understand why he would face the death penalty.

(MORE: Kansas killer among 5 federal inmates to be executed)

Purkey, who's from Kansas, was convicted of raping and killing a 16-year-old girl before dismembering, burning and dumping her body in a septic pond.
 

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