Ex-death row inmate in SC to go free with deal

MEG KINNARD Associated Press Published:

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A mentally disabled man who spent nearly 30 years on South Carolina's death row will go free under a plea deal with prosecutors.

Edward Lee Elmore pleaded guilty Friday to murder in the stabbing death of Dorothy Edwards, a widow he worked for as a handyman. An attorney for Elmore says he is innocent, but he pleaded guilty because he wants to be released from prison.

A single strand of blond hair found on Edwards after her death prompted judges to grant Elmore a new trial. Elmore has black hair.

A prosecutor decided to offer the deal instead of retrying the decades-old case.

Elmore is to be freed Friday.