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Missouri Supreme Court Halts Inmate’s Execution

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) - The Missouri Supreme Court issued a stay of execution Thursday for a man scheduled to die Jan. 28 for the murder of a former journalist.

Marcellus Williams was convicted of the 1998 murder of Lisha Gayle, a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter. Prosecutors said Williams was burglarizing Gayle's home when she surprised him. Williams stabbed Gayle repeatedly as she fought for her life.

A St. Louis County jury convicted Williams in 2001.

Williams had argued that he was entitled to additional DNA testing. His lawyers claimed that the case against him was built solely on contradictory testimony from a former cellmate and a former girlfriend who were out for a

$10,000 reward.

The court did not give a reason for delaying the execution.

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