Judge Halts Execution Of Texas Man Sentenced For Rape, Murder Of Girl, 12

Jonathan Green (Texas prison photo)

HOUSTON (October 8, 2012)—U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas Monday has blocked the scheduled execution of a Montgomery County man who was convicted of the 2000 abduction, rape and strangling of a 12-year-old girl.

Atlas ruled Monday that attorneys for Jonathan Green, 44, weren't properly allowed at a state competency hearing two years ago to present testimony from mental health professionals who treated him.

Atlas also said a judge who found Green competent for execution relied on an order drafted by prosecutors, that Green's lawyers had no opportunity to object and that at least one legal standard in the ruling was incorrectly applied.

Green was scheduled to die Wednesday in Huntsville for the slaying of Christina Neal.

Green lived near Neal's family in Dobbin, about 45 miles northwest of Houston.

Authorities say Green buried the girl in his backyard after he killed her and then later dug up the body and placed it inside his home behind a chair.