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A convicted murderer sentenced to death row lost an appeal hearing in Blount County.

61-year-old James Anderson Dellinger was sentenced to death in 1996 along with his accomplice, 48-year-old Gary Wayne Sutton.

Prosecutors say the duo killed 25-year-old Tommy Griffin in Walland then killed his sister, Connie Griffin Branham, in Sevier County.

Dellinger wanted to submit new evidence that would overturn an earlier court decision that placed his IQ greater than 70. Under state law, a person with an IQ lower than 70 cannot be sentenced to death.

The judge refused to reopen the issue.

Dellinger has 60 days to apply for an appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court. If that appeal also is denied, he could appeal at the federal level

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