The attorney for Kevin Wayne Dunlap says her client was incompetent to plead guilty in the slayings of three children because part of his brain is missing.
Dunlap's lawyer, Kathleen Schmidt, told the Kentucky Supreme Court in a brief that Dunlap does not have a right frontal lobe,
which controls impulses and decision making. The high court will hear Dunlap's appeal Aug. 16 in Frankfort.
A judge sentenced Dunlap to death in 2010. He pleaded guilty to stabbing and killing 5-year-old Ethan Frensley, 17-year-old Kayla Williams and 14-year-old Kortney Frensley when they returned home from school in October 2008 and then burning their house in Roaring Springs, which is near Fort Campbell.
Prosecutors told the court that doctors determined Dunlap was competent to stand trial.