Convicted serial killer David Leonard Wood has been granted a delay in hisexecution, a spokesman with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice told ABC-7.
Wood filed an appeal Tuesday claiming he should not be executed because he is mentally retarded.
In response, the Texas Attorney General’s Office filed a response stating the claim was without merit.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sided with Wood’s lawyers, saying late Wednesday that Wood is entitled to a hearing to pursue claims he’s mentally impaired and ineligible for execution under U.S. Supreme Court guidelines.
Wood was scheduled to die by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas, on Thursday for killing six girls and young women in the summer of 1987 and dumping their bodies in the Northeast El Paso desert.
Now Wood remains on death row at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas.
Dolph Quijano, Wood’s former defense attorney, told ABC-7 he filed an affidavit on behalf of Wood for his appeal, whichwas handled by the Innocence Project in Austin.
“The mental retardation aspect gives everybody problems when it comes to (execution). I did an affidavit about David Wood’s mental ability and how it affected our ability to defend him. (Attorney Michael Byrne with the The Innocence Project) called me and I told them I’d be happy to do whatever I can do to save this guy’s life, short of lying,” Quijano said.
The Attorney General’s Officesaidthat “a person afflicted with mental retardation could never have carried out a crime of this magnitude.” They also argued that Wood’s claim could have been presented earlier. Wood’s attorneys cite IQ scores from 1980.
Stay with ABC-7 for the latest on this development.