Winston-Salem man is ruled to be mentally disabled, will not face death penalty in 2009 fatal shooting - Winston-Salem Journal: News

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Winston-Salem man is ruled to be mentally disabled, will not face death penalty in 2009 fatal shooting

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Jose Merlin Henriquez Portillo

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013 1:24 pm | Updated: 9:28 pm, Fri Jul 26, 2013.

A Forsyth County judge ruled Friday that a Winston-Salem man facing first-degree murder charges in a 2009 fatal shooting cannot face the death penalty because he is mentally retarded as defined under state law.

Judge Edgar Gregory of Forsyth Superior Court made the ruling in the case of Jose Merlin Henriquez Portillo after a week-long hearing that featured testimony from experts who had evaluated Portillo and had looked into his childhood growing up in El Salvador.

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