Steven Staley (Texas prison photo)
AUSTIN (September 11, 2013)—Steven Kenneth Staley, 51, a Texas death row inmate with a history of mental illness, can’t be forcibly medicated to make him competent for execution, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Wednesday.
Prosecutors argued that Staley, who was convicted for the 1989 shooting death of a Fort Worth restaurant manager, is competent for execution.
But his attorneys counter that if he is, it’s only because a state district judge in Fort Worth improperly ordered that Staley be given drugs to make him competent so the state could administer the lethal injection.
The appeals court granted Staley a reprieve in May 2012, two days before his scheduled execution.
On Oct. 14, 1989, Staley, Tracy Duke and Brenda Rayburn ate at a Fort Worth Steak and Ale and then Staley and Duke pulled semiautomatic handguns from the woman’s purse and rounded up employees, prosecutors said.
Staley forced the restaurant’s manager, Robert Read, to open cash registers and the safe and to put money in a briefcase.
An assistant manager, meanwhile, was able to slip out a rear door and called police.
Officers arrived while the robbery was still in progress, so the three took Read hostage and hijacked a car about block from the restaurant.
Officers heard several gunshots as the car sped off.
The stolen car broke down and officers caught the three robbers.
They found Read’s body in the backseat.
An autopsy showed he had been struck on the forehead with a blunt object and shot three times, once in the right temple.
Staley has been on death row since August 1991.
Duke, 47, received a life sentence after he was convicted of murder and attempted murder, prison records show.
Rayburn, 46, received a 30-year sentence after she was convicted of aggravated robbery, prison records show.