PHOENIX (AP) — A federal appeals court has stayed the execution of a Navajo man convicted of the murder of a 63-year-old fellow tribal member and her 9-year-old granddaughter.

Lezmond Mitchell is the only Native American on federal death row.

His execution was scheduled for Dec. 11. But the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals put it on hold in a split decision Friday.

Mitchell's attorneys had asked for the stay to investigate potential racial bias by the jury that heard his case. A hearing is scheduled Dec. 13 in Phoenix.

The Justice Department announced earlier this year that it would resume executing death row prisoners after almost two decades.

Mitchell was convicted in the 2001 killings of Alyce Slim and her granddaughter during a carjacking on the Navajo Nation.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

0
0
0
0
0

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.