Execution Stopped but Killer's Appeal Fails

12-09-03 - An appeals court refused to hear a lawsuit challenging the use of one of the drugs used in lethal injections.

The moves comes shortly before 42-year-old Kevin Lee Zimmerman from Louisiana is set to be executed. He was a plaintiff in same lawsuit that allowed condemned killer Billy Frank Vickers of Lamar County to elude the Texas death chamber last night.

Vickers dodged execution when the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals failed to rule by midnight, six hours after the time he could have been put to death, and the death warrant expired. It will be at least 30 days before he can be returned for another attempt to execute him.

Vickers had been scheduled to die for fatally shooting a North Texas grocery store owner during a botched robbery attempt almost eleven years ago.