Monday, June 8, 2009

Fla. justices stay Johnston execution

Fla. justices stay Johnston execution

The Associated Press


-- The Florida Supreme Court has stayed next week's execution of David Eugene Johnston pending DNA testing of key evidence.

The justices unanimously issued the stay Thursday.

Johnston, 49, was convicted of stabbing and strangling 84-year-old Mary Hammond at her Orlando home. The high court ordered testing of the victim's fingernail clippings, which may contain bits of flesh and blood she scratched from her attacker's body, and of Johnston's clothing and shoes.

Johnston is one of two Florida death row inmates under active death warrants. He was to be executed Wednesday.The other, John Richard Marek, 47, previously received a stay pending further appeal. Marek was convicted of kidnapping, and strangling Adella Marie Simmons in Broward County.

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