Texas court grants stay of execution for death row inmate Melissa Lucio
Dakin Andone, CNN
(CNN) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Monday granted a stay of execution for Melissa Lucio, her attorneys announced in a statement, halting her execution scheduled for Wednesday.
Lucio, her family, advocates and attorneys say she was wrongfully convicted of capital murder in the 2007 death of her toddler Mariah.
“I thank God for my life. I have always trusted in Him,” Lucio said in a statement shared by her legal team. “I am grateful the Court has given me the chance to live and prove my innocence. Mariah is in my heart today and always.”
Lucio raised nine claims for relief with the appeals court, which ultimately remanded four of those claims to the trial court for review, per its order.
At trial, prosecutors argued Lucio was an abusive mother who likely caused the injuries that brought about her daughter’s death. But Lucio and her attorneys said Mariah’s injuries stemmed not from abuse but from a fall down a staircase outside the family’s second-floor apartment two days prior to her death.
Separately, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday declined to make a clemency recommendation in Lucio’s case, citing the stay of execution.
This is a developing story and will be updated.