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The fate of Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls is in limbo. The 56 year old is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
On Friday, a federal appeals court in St. Louis ruled 7-3 against death row inmates arguing that the state's use of an Oklahoma compounding pharmacy to make the lethal injection drug pentobarbital without disclosing the name of the pharmacy was unconstitutional.
Then on Monday, a federal judge in Kansas City denied Smulls request for a 60 day stay of execution so he can continue to appeal Missouri's execution method. His attorneys claim denying the stay violates his "due process" rights and they've appealed again.
Smulls has also asked Governor Jay Nixon for clemancy. A spokesman says the governor hasn't reached a decision yet.
Smulls was convicted of killing a Chesterfield jeweler during a 1992 robbery.
A retired high school teacher and her adult nephew are dead after a fire destroyed their west end home Monday evening. St. Louis Firefighters arrived around 6 p.m. to find the three-story house in the 5700 block of Bartmer Avenue fully engulfed. They were unable to reach the two people inside the burning building.
Relatives have identified the victims as 80 year old Dorothy Jones and her 62 year old nephew Tom McKinney. Jones taught math and science for many years at McKinley High School. McKinney ran a lawn service and took care of his aunt.
Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire, but relatives speculate that it may have involved a space heater. They say the home had central heat, but Jones had trouble staying warm and was known to use a small heater.
Fire investigators say they haven't found any working smoke detectors in the home.