PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Massachusetts man convicted of raping and killing a 66-year-old grandmother in her Rhode Island home in 1999 will get a chance to argue for his life sentence to be overturned.

Jeremy Motyka’s lawyer had argued his client’s bid for post-conviction relief was wrongly dismissed in Superior Court without an evidentiary hearing. Prosecutors said the claims were dismissed because they were without merit.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court on Tuesday vacated the lower court’s denial, saying Motyka was entitled to a hearing on the merits of his application.

The high court’s decision will allow the Fall River, Massachusetts, man to fight his 2001 sentence and conviction for the death of Angela Spence-Shaw.

The Rhode Island attorney general’s office says it’s “confident” the Superior Court will dismiss the petition as “meritless.”