Last-minute appeals could delay Missouri execution


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Hours before a condemned man is scheduled to be put to death, court appeals continue to create uncertainty about if or when the execution will take place.

John Middleton is scheduled to die early Wednesday for killing three people in rural northern Missouri in 1995.

Attorneys for Middleton filed a flurry of appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt the execution late Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry granted a stay earlier in the day, over concerns that Middleton is mentally ill and incompetent for execution. That stay was overturned. But Middleton's attorneys went back to Perry, and they said she granted another stay about 90 minutes before the execution was to take place.

A spokesman for the Attorney General's office could not immediately be reached.

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