Appeals court halts Texas death row inmate’s execution

A state appeals court has halted this week’s scheduled execution of a Texas death row inmate condemned for the shooting death of an 81-year-old woman nearly 30 years ago.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Monday granted a request by Mark Robertson’s attorneys to stay his execution.

The decision came as Robertson’s attorneys asked the court to review a 1997 decision in which it had denied a previous appeal over claims that Robertson’s trial attorney had worked to keep African-Americans off the jury.

Robertson had been set for lethal injection Thursday for the August 1989 slaying of Edna Brau at her Dallas home.

Robertson received a life sentence for fatally shooting Sean Hill, Brau’s 19-year-old grandson, and another life term for killing a Dallas convenience store clerk 10 days earlier.