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Execution Stayed in 1998 Killing of 85-year-old Texas Woman

3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 October 22, 2019 1:13 PM October 22, 2019 in News

HOUSTON (AP) - An appeals court has granted a stay of execution for a Texas inmate convicted of fatally stabbing an 85-year-old woman more than 20 years ago as part of an attempt to steal more than $600,000 she had hidden in her home.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Tuesday issued the stay for Ruben Gutierrez after it found problems with the death warrant issued to schedule his Oct. 30 execution.

Gutierrez has long maintained his innocence in the 1998 killing of Escolastica Harrison at her Brownsville home and he is asking for DNA testing that he says could point to the real killer.

Prosecutors say the DNA testing request is a "ruse" and that Gutierrez was convicted on a variety of evidence, including a confession.

This story has been corrected to show that the victim was killed in 1998, not 1999.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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