Texas execution Thursday for fatal $1.25 robbery halted

AP News
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Posted: Jan 31, 2017 5:57 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A federal judge has stopped this week's scheduled execution of a 32-year-old man condemned for the 2004 robbery-slaying of a convenience store worker in Corpus Christi.

John Henry Ramirez was set for lethal injection Thursday in Huntsville for fatally slashing 45-year-old Pablo Castro. He was robbed of $1.25.

Attorneys for Ramirez filed an appeal seeking to block the execution and appoint Ramirez a new lawyer after attorney Michael Gross said in a court filing the prisoner no longer wanted Gross to represent him. U.S. District Judge Neeva Gonzales Ramos ruled Tuesday the short time until Thursday's scheduled punishment doesn't allow for "serious consideration" of Ramirez's request for a new lawyer, so she's stopped the execution.

The Texas Attorney General's Office is appealing to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.