Execution of convicted area killer Leon Taylor is called off

08/07/2014 3:33 PM

08/07/2014 5:49 PM

The Missouri Supreme Court on Thursday called off the execution of a convicted Kansas City area killer scheduled for next month.

The court withdrew the execution warrant it had issued July 24 that set a Sept. 10 execution date for Leon Taylor.

There was no explanation released for the action by the court. Taylor’s attorneys had filed a motion earlier in the week asking for a stay, but the court on Thursday also overruled that motion.

According to the defense stay motion, several conflicts have arisen that would prevent his lawyers from completing all of the necessary legal work on his behalf before the scheduled execution.

Taylor was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder of Robert Newton, an Independence service station attendant. After shooting Newton, Taylor attempted to shoot Newton’s 8-year-old stepdaughter, but the gun misfired, according to testimony at his trial.

In a separate order Thursday, the Supreme Court set an execution date for another Missouri inmate. Earl Ringo Jr., who was sentenced to death in Boone County, is scheduled to be executed on the same day that Taylor had been scheduled to be put to death.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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