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ATLANTA -- The Georgia Supreme Court has unanimously tossed out the death sentence of a man who was convicted of killing his wife and twin 2-year-old sons in Lithonia in 2006.

The court on Monday upheld Clayton Jerrod Ellington's murder conviction, and a jury will once again have the option to sentence him to death.

Ellington's attorneys had argued the trial court unfairly prohibited them from asking prospective jurors whether they would consider a life sentence rather than the death penalty.

Ellington was convicted of attacking his wife, Berna, with a hammer as she slept, and beating to death his twin sons in their cribs.

Officials in the DeKalb County Assistant District Attorney's office were not immediately available for comment.