KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A panel of federal judges has stayed a Missouri man's execution a little more than a day before he was set to die.
Allen Nicklasson had been scheduled to be put to death at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing businessman Richard Drummond in 1994.
But late Monday a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to stay the execution on Nicklasson's claims of ineffective counsel.
A stay such as this in a death row case is not unusual and does not mean the execution ultimately will be scuttled.
The state is expected to appeal the decision to the full appeals court.
A death penalty case in St. Charles County is the first in more than a decade.
Sixty-three year old Terry Culberson is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend, 55 year old Dorothy Hall in the face five times. Her body was found inside Culberson's O'Fallon, Missouri mobile home on February 5, 2013.
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar says the brutality of the murder was a factor in deciding to ask for the death penalty. "St. Charles County has not requested a death penalty since 2002, so it's a very unique situation," he said.
Lohmar says Culberson's past conviction for assault with the intent to kill was also a factor. A trial date has not yet been set.