HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A judge has granted a request for a death penalty specialist to represent an 18-year-old Wyoming man accused of killing a husband and wife on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters on Wednesday approved the motion to appoint attorney Donald Knight of Littleton, Colorado, after rejecting a previous request.

Originally, Watters said defendant Jesus Deniz Mendoza had three federal public defenders and failed to show why he needed another.

After the new request clarified that Federal Defender Anthony Gallagher is not acting as an attorney who is "learned in the law applicable to capital cases," Watters granted Knight's appointment.

Prosecutors are considering pursuing the death penalty against Mendoza for the July 29 killings of Jason and Tana Shane near Pryor.

The Worland man has pleaded not guilty.


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