Texas appeals court halts scheduled Wednesday execution

This undated handout photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Randall Wayne Mays. On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Mays, 55, is scheduled for execution for the 2007 shootout that killed Henderson County (Texas) Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Ogburn, 61, and Paul Habelt, 63, an investigator. (AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice)
This undated handout photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Randall Wayne Mays. On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Mays, 55, is scheduled for execution for the 2007 shootout that killed Henderson County (Texas) Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Ogburn, 61, and Paul Habelt, 63, an investigator. (AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — An East Texas man set for execution this week for a shootout eight years ago that left two sheriff’s officers dead has won a reprieve from the state’s highest criminal appeals court.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals late Monday stopped the scheduled execution of 55-year-old Randall Wayne Mays. The ruling means Mays will not be execution Wednesday evening for the fatal shootings at his home in Henderson County.

The court agreed with Mays’ lawyers that additional review is needed to determine if Mays is mentally competent for execution.

His punishment would have depleted the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s supply of pentobarbital used for lethal injections and now difficult to obtain for capital punishment.

The decision leaves Texas with enough for the next execution, scheduled for April 9.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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