ST. LOUIS (AP) – A federal judge has granted a stay of execution for John Middleton, hours before he is scheduled to be put to death in Missouri.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry ruled Tuesday that there was enough question about whether Middleton is insane that a hearing should be held to determine if he should be executed. The U.S. Constitution prohibits executing the mentally ill.
The Missouri Attorney General’s office immediately appealed the ruling.
Middleton was a rural northern Missouri methamphetamine dealer convicted of killing three people in 1995 because he feared they would go to police. He would be the sixth Missouri inmate executed this year.
In a separate ruling late Monday, a court of appeals refused to halt the execution on Middleton’s claim that he is innocent.
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MORE CRIME NEWS:
- Preliminary Trial Date Set For Accused Killers of Local KKK Leader
- Rise in Mo. Inmates Could Lead to New Prison
- Vandals Topple Over 100 Gravestones at Jewish Cemetery
- 17-Year-Old Killed in North St. Louis Shooting
- UPDATE: Amber Alert From Overland, Mo. Cancelled
- One Shooting Victim Dies, Two Others Hospitalized