NORTHAMPTON >> A Hampshire Superior Court judge has denied a request to reduce the first-degree murder conviction of a Ware man who killed his friend 20 years ago.

Enez Kolenovic asked the same judge who presided over his 1999 trial to lower the verdict to a charge that did not come with an automatic sentence of life without parole.

The Republican ( reported that Kolenovic's attorney argued that the jury erred in convicting his client of first-degree murder because of factors including his alcohol consumption, post-traumatic stress disorder and mental illnesses.

The judge disagreed in a written decision issued Thursday.

Authorities say Kolenovic in September 1996 repeatedly stabbed and slit David Walker's throat from the back seat of a car while Walker was in the front passenger seat during an argument.

Information from: The Springfield Republican,