A man scheduled to die early Wednesday for murdering a police officer received an 11th-hour reprieve because his death warrant may have have been lost in the mail, officials said.
Ramon Montoya was granted the stay Tuesday by State District Judge Tom Price of Dallas. The reprieve would last until Dec. 1, said Ron Dusek, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office.The warrant for Montoya to receive a lethal injection Wednesday was signed in court July 21 and mailed to prison officials, the Dallas County district attorney's office said.
State prison officials, however, said they never received it.
"I wasn't even aware there was a warrant," said David Nunnelee, spokesman for the Texas Department of Corrections. Executions are carried out by prison officials on orders from court.
The stay was issued on the grounds that attorneys for Montoya needed more to time to prepare motions and that the judge wanted to review the case further because of the confusion surrounding the missing warrant, Dusek said.