COLUMBIA — Lawyers for a convicted sex offender sent to South Carolina death row for raping and killing a Clemson University student in her off-campus apartment will ask the state Supreme Court to throw out his sentence.

Justices are set Wednesday morning to hear the appeal of Jerry Buck Inman. The 40-year-old inmate will not be in the Columbia courtroom.

Inman’s lawyers said the judge that sentenced him to death failed to protect Inman’s rights when he refused to kick prosecutors off the case. Defense attorneys say the prosecutors intimidated a defense witness by suggesting she could be arrested because she did not have a license to do social work in South Carolina.

Authorities say Inman strangled 20-year-old Tiffany Souers with her bikini top in May 2006.