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A female state inmate, in prison along with her husband for killing a cab driver in 1984, can seek a divorce on the grounds that the husband has been incarcerated for three or more years, the state's highest court says.

Rhonda Covington is serving a sentence of 20 years to life. The Court of Appeals ruled that the statute of limitations has not run out for when she can seek to bring a divorce action against husband Carlton Walker.

She is in Bayview state prison in Manhattan. Walker is serving a sentence of 25 years to life in Auburn state prison.

According to court papers, the two were married in May 1983. In 1985, Walker was convicted of shooting and killing a taxi driver in a Queens robbery the previous year. Covington was convicted of the same crimes -- second-degree murder, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon -- two years later.

Covington, 42, sought to divorce Walker in 2000.

Walker, 44, had tried to deny her request, arguing that a five-year statute of limitations on filing for divorce had expired in his eighth year in prison, in 1992.

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