A federal appeals court blocked next week's scheduled execution of an Arizona death-row inmate who was convicted of killing a Bisbee man nearly 35 years ago.
On Friday, a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Edward Harold Schad cannot be executed while a District Court judge considers whether Schad was denied effective legal representation after his 1979 conviction.
A prosecutor said, however, that the Attorney General's Office would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the stay. The stay also applies to any resulting appeal, the court's one-page order said.
The Attorney General's Office had opposed the request for a stay, saying there was no requirement to block the execution set for Wednesday because of what's happened in court so far.
Schad, now 70, was sentenced to death for murdering 74-year-old Lorimer "Leroy" Grove, of Bisbee, in August 1978.
Schad's execution would be Arizona's 34th since 1992. Most recently, Richard Dale Stokley, convicted of murdering two 13-year-old girls in Cochise County in 1991, was put to death Dec. 5.
Schad was convicted in October 1979 of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, but the conviction was overturned on the grounds that the trial judge improperly instructed the jury. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death again in a 1985 retrial.