Inmate Scott Panetti is seen in an undated picture release by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville, Texas.
December 3, 2014 1:00 PM EST

A federal appeals court has halted the Wednesday execution of a Texas killer whose lawyers say is too mentally ill to be put to death. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay of execution just hours before Scott Panetti was due to be put to death for murdering his in-laws in 1992. The court said it was granting a temporary reprieve “to allow us to fully consider the late arriving and complex legal questions at issue in this matter.”

“We are really pleased that cooler heads have prevailed,” defense lawyer Kathryn Kase said after the decision..

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

Contact us at

Read More From TIME

Related Stories