By Denise Lavoie, AP Legal Affairs Writer

BOSTON (AP) — The retrial of a man sentenced to death for killing two Massachusetts residents in 2001 is stalled while prosecutors decide whether to appeal a federal judge’s refusal to step down from the case.

Related: Judge Denies Bid To Move Massachusetts Carjack Killing Trial

Gary Lee Sampson‘s death sentence was overturned by Judge Mark Wolf in 2011 after he found that a juror had lied about her background.

Sampson’s sentencing retrial had been scheduled to start next week but has now been postponed indefinitely.

On Monday, Wolf rejected a request by prosecutors to recuse himself because of contact he had with a potential expert witness for Sampson’s defense.

Prosecutors have until Oct. 13 to tell the judge whether they plan to appeal his ruling.

Sampson pleaded guilty to federal charges in the slayings of 19-year-old Jonathan Rizzo and 69-year-old Philip McCloskey.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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