An official with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Thursday that the stay was granted for Clifton Lamar Williams, 31.
In July 2005, Williams broke into the home Cecelia Schneider in Tyler.
Texas’ highest criminal court has put off the execution of a death row inmate, hours before he was set to die for the slaying of a 93-year-old woman at her home during a robbery a decade ago. But late Wednesday, defense attorney James Huggler asked Texas courts for at least a 60-day delay after the Texas Attorney General’s Office disclosed that two witnesses at Williams’ 2006 trial used incorrect statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation when testifying about population and DNA probabilities.
Huggler is seeking to delay Williams’ punishment at least 60 days to investigate any effect of the errors.
Williams, 31, had faced execution Thursday evening for the killing of Cecelia Schneider of Tyler, about 85 miles east of Dallas.
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Williams, convicted for stabbing, strangling, beating, and eventually setting fire to Schneider’s body before making off with her Toyota Camry, was tried for the murder in 2006.
According to the Associated Press, if the sentence is carried out, he would be the 10th inmate to receive a lethal injection this year in the state. Her missing auto was found later that day, wrecked and abandoned. Williams’ trial attorney protested Williams’ guilt in both his opening statement and a subsequent challenge of DNA testing to no avail.
Williams’ defense team painted a picture of a mentally-disabled man who was incapable of committing such a crime and should not face the death penalty. Williams attempted to prove during his trial that his friend, Jamarist Paxton, forced him to break into Schneider’s house with him, and coerced Williams into cutting his hand so as to leave his DNA at the scene. Investigators said Williams led police to a pond where Schneider’s purse that had contained about $40 was found, along with a knife from her kitchen that investigators believe was used to stab her.
The Texas Court of Criminal of Appeals halted the scheduled lethal injection of 31-year-old Clifton Lamar Williams. They have refused to identify the drug provider.