A convicted murderer’s scheduled execution in Texas on Wednesday has been postponed for 60 days due to the coronavirus, CBS News reports. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected all grounds of John William Hummel’s appeal of his execution on Tuesday, but said it would stay the execution “in light of the current health crisis and the enormous resources needed to address the execution.” Hummel’s attorney, Michael Mowla, reportedly raised concerns about the execution potentially spreading the virus last week. In a petition, he wrote that gathering correctional officers, attorneys, physicians, and loved ones in one place had a “substantial risk of transmission of COVID-19/Coronavirus if anyone is infected.” Mowla has not spoken publicly on the matter.
Hummel has been convicted of capital murder for fatally stabbing his pregnant wife and beating his father-in-law to death with a baseball bat. He was also accused of killing his 5-year-old daughter with a bat, and setting fire to their home in a Fort Worth suburb. According to prosecutors, Hummel killed his family so he could pursue a woman he met at a convenience store.