Another execution has been halted in Texas just days before a death row inmate was slated to die.
Last Friday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of a man who was convicted of a murder during a robbery in Fort Worth in 2004.
The Texas Tribune reported it was the second time Tilon Carter had an execution removed from the schedule.
Attorneys for the 37-year-old filed an appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals last week. They claimed the prosecution presented false evidence at the original trial that the victim, James Tomlin, died partially from smothering. Carter maintained he never intentionally killed the 89-year-old and was ineligible for a death sentence.
Carter confessed to police after Tomlin’s death that he and LaKeitha Allen broke into his house. The victim was bound with duct tape and robbed. However, Carter maintained he didn’t smother the elderly man. He said he left him bound, but he was alive and talking.
Evidence from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner stated Tomlin died partially from smothering, but also from positional asphyxia. He may have suffocated after being left in a dangerous position unable to move.
On Friday afternoon, The Court of Criminal Appeals issued an order staying Tomlin’s execution to give the judges time look into the case. Tomlin was due to be the fifth death row prisoner executed this year on Tuesday night.
The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office has claimed the defendant’s arguments were barred from further examination. It said the issue should have been raised at an earlier time.
A number of Texas inmates have been granted stays of execution this year.
In February, Duane Buck from Houston was given the right to a new hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court. Buck argued a Harris County jury gave him the death penalty after hearing racially discriminatory evidence by a witness called by his own attorney who testified that Buck was more likely to commit more violent crimes because he is African American.
Buck murdered his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in 1995. The Supreme Court sided with the death row inmate in a 6-2 ruling giving him the right to have a new hearing.
During appeals no new evidence is admitted, but the justices look again at the trial to ascertain whether or not it was fair.
Find out more about our Texas’ defense attorneys’ long track record in Dallas criminal appeals on our website.