A federal judge has delayed the execution of a man convicted in Arkansas for three murders.
Daniel Lewis Lee was set to be executed by lethal injection on Monday, July 13 at a federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. However, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has ruled that there are remaining legal matters to resolve in Lewis’ case, according to ABC News.
This was set to be the first federal execution in 17 years. The last individual executed under federal law was Louis Jones Jr., who was convicted of murdering Tracie Joy McBride, in 2003, BBC reports.
Lee and Chevie Kehoe were convicted of murdering William Mueller, his wife Nancy and her daughter Sarah Powell in 1996. The victim’s bodies were later discovered in Lake Dardanelle.
On Friday, July 10, a lawsuit was filed by the victims’ family to delay the executed on the grounds of COVID-19 fears. “The federal government has put this family in the untenable position of choosing between their right to witness Danny Lee’s execution and their own health and safety,” attorney Baker Kurrus said a statement to CNN.