Texas appeals court puts execution on hold

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ highest criminal appeals court has put on hold an execution that was scheduled for this week.

Juan Segundo was set to be executed Wednesday for the rape and slaying of 11-year-old Vanessa Villa. He was arrested nearly 19 years after the 1986 crime when a DNA match tied him to the cold case slaying in Fort Worth.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday ordered that his execution be put on hold in light of a 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision that invalidated the state’s method of discerning intellectual disability. Attorneys for Segundo have argued that he’s intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution.

Segundo’s attorneys also say the trial judge incorrectly allowed evidence on other offenses.

Ten inmates have been put to death in Texas so far this year.

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