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Docs testify on slaying suspect's IQ

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A psychologist says a suspected killer may have developed a higher IQ while awaiting trial in Florida, making the man eligible for execution if convicted.

D'Andre Bannister has been awaiting trial for seven years for the 2002 slaying of his 4-year-old stepson, Tarquez Woodson, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported.

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His attorneys said during a Monday hearing before Florida Circuit Judge John Hoy in West Palm Beach that Bannister two years ago scored an IQ of 69, which would be low enough for him to be classified as mentally retarded and thus make him ineligible for the death penalty.

But defense psychologist Harry Krop testified Bannister scored an IQ of 78 in 2009.

The Post said Krop testified Bannister scored higher because he researched answers and didn't want to be seen as mentally retarded. Thus, Krop said, Bannister may have grown smarter while awaiting trial and, in so doing, made himself eligible for the death penalty.

The Post said Monday's hearing finished without the completion of testimony. The judge said he would schedule Bannister's first-degree murder trial for this summer.

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