2009-07-23 / Local & State

Fed Judge Stays Execution Of Pa. Death Row Inmate

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) - A federal judge in Pittsburgh has stayed the execution of a western Pennsylvania inmate who, earlier this year, said he was tired of appeal delays and asked Gov. Ed Rendell to sign his death warrant.

Rendell earlier this month signed an order scheduling William Wright III's execution for Sept. 3.

But a judge has stayed that because Wright's public defender now wants to file a habeas corpus motion.

The 45-year-old Wright still claims he's innocent of killing James Mowery in Altoona on Thanksgiving Day 1998. Wright had an affair with Mowery's wife and was convicted of shooting him after the couple reconciled.

Wright sued in federal court over sentencing delays after the state Supreme Court failed to decide his appeal in 2007 after several years.

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