Last May, Anthony Brown was sentenced to die for the murder of 83-year-old Virginia Keel in June of 2000.
New attorneys appointed to handle Brown's appeal claim he did not intend to kill the woman, and that he's mentally retarded.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that people with mental retardation cannot be put to death.
Prosecutors said Brown's own doctors stopped short of calling him retarded and noted that he made A's and B's in high school.
Judge Lawson Little denied Brown's motion, but also gave his attorney's the right to file other motions after they've had time to review transcripts of the original trial.