Killer of Woman, 85, Set to Die

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - Attorneys for convicted killer Willie Pondexter are looking to the courts to stop his scheduled execution
tonight.

Otherwise the 34-year-old high school dropout from Idabel,
Okla., dies tonight in Texas for killing Martha Lennox. He's one of two men sent to death row for the shooting death of the Northeast Texas woman at her Clarksville home.

Pondexter would be the ninth inmate to die in the Texas death chamber executed this year and the first of two scheduled to die on consecutive nights in Huntsville.

But his attorneys asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the punishment. They want justices to order the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on their lawsuit accusing the prison system and an East Texas sheriff of interfering with fact gathering for a clemency petition for Pondexter. The New Orleans-based appeals court refused to consider the lawsuit.

Pondexter has acknowledged shooting Lennox but denies firing the fatal shot. He says that shot was fired by James Leon Henderson, who also awaits execution for his part in the murder.


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