HOUSTON, Texas — A third scheduled execution of a Texas death row inmate was delayed Wednesday following the spread of the coronavirus in the state.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a 60-day delay of Fabian Hernandez’s scheduled April 23 execution.
Unlike the two executions that were ordered delayed last month because of COVID-19, Texas’ highest criminal court did not give a specific reason for Hernandez’s stay.
However, the appeals court’s order follows a request by Hernandez’s attorney to delay his execution because of the “current health crisis and the enormous resources needed to address that emergency.”
In his motion, Hernandez’s lawyer also referenced the execution stays granted last month due to the coronavirus to Texas death row inmates Tracy Beatty and John Hummel.
Hernandez, 44, was condemned for fatally shooting his estranged wife, Renee Urbina Hernandez, 28, and one of her friends, Arturo Fonseca, 24, in November 2006 in El Paso.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.