Appeals Focus on Sanity of Condemned Texas Inmate

Condemned killer set to die Wednesday

By Michael Graczyk
|  Sunday, May 13, 2012  |  Updated 11:52 AM CDT
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Appeals Focus on Sanity of Condemned Texas Inmate

AP

Execution gurney in death chamber at Huntsville, Texas.

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A decision on the mental health of condemned killer Steven Staley likely will determine if Texas executes the former laborer this week a slaying almost a quarter-century ago in Fort Worth.

Staley, who's now 49, is scheduled for a lethal injection Wednesday evening for the death of 35-year-old Bob Read.

Staley was a fugitive from a halfway house in his native Denver when a Steak and Ale restaurant manager was shot dead during a botched robbery in October 1989.

Prosecutors contend Staley's competent to be put to death, but His lawyer says Staley is severely mentally ill with paranoid schizophrenia.

Attorney John Stickels says Staley has been observed catatonic or lying on the floor of his jail cell covered with urine.

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