Judge halts execution, cites drug source secrecy

By: MICHAEL GRACZYK Associated Press
By: MICHAEL GRACZYK Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - A federal judge in Houston has stopped the scheduled execution of a serial killer until Texas officials provide his attorneys information about the supplier of a new batch of drugs that would be used to kill him.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction stopping the lethal injection of Tommy Lynn Sells. He was set to die Thursday.

State officials have insisted the identity of the supplier must be kept secret to protect it from threats of violence.

Attorneys insist the name is needed to verify the quality of the drug and keep the inmate from unconstitutional pain. Another inmate set to die next week, Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, also is involved in the lawsuit.

It's not immediately certain if lawyers for the state will appeal Gilmore's ruling.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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