State Court denies stay of execution for man convicted in 1999 for murder

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FILE (Source: Ruben Gutierrez // Mug shot via Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — State Court of Criminal Appeals denied a stay of execution for a man convicted for the murder of a Brownsville woman.

The state court denied and dismissed several requests made by Ruben Gutierrez, who has been on death row since 1999 for the killing of Escolastica Harrison.

One of those requests included a free standing motion to delay Gutierrez’s execution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I strongly feel that the decision today means the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agrees with my office that Gutierrez has been doing nothing more than engaging in delay tactics to avoid the administration of justice for Mrs. Harrison. Now we wait for a ruling from the Fifth Circuit (Federal) to see if justice will be able to finally be served,” said Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz in a release.

A stay of execution appeal for Gutierrez was made earlier this week in federal court. A release states that a ruling is still pending.

Gutierrez’s execution was set for June 16, 2020. He was previously scheduled to be executed on Oct. 30, 2019. However, due to a clerical error on behalf of the Cameron County District Clerk, a stay of execution was ordered on Oct. 11, 2019.

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