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April 3, 2013

State District Judge Larry Mitchell Monday delayed the execution of convicted killer Kimberly McCarthy, 51, who’s held on women’s death row in Gatesville and who was originally scheduled to die Wednesday in Huntsville for the murder of a retired college professor.

Mitchell's order resetting the execution date for June 26 formalized an agreement last week between Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and McCarthy's attorney to put off the lethal injection until the fate of death penalty-related bills now in the Texas Legislature is determined.

Lawmakers are about halfway through their six-month session.

McCarthy, who avoided execution with a last-day reprieve in January, asked Mitchell in a court filing two weeks ago to delay her execution until the fate of a bill related to issues in her case that was introduced March 6 in the Texas Legislature is determined.

The bill proposed by Sen. Royce West and Rep. Eric Johnson, both Dallas Democrats, would bar racial discrimination in capital case prosecution.

Attorney Maurie Levin contends McCarthy's 1998 trial jury may have been unfairly selected on the basis of race.

Levin argues that McCarthy, who’s black, was the subject of racial discrimination by the jury of 11 whites and only one black that convicted her.

McCarthy was convicted and sentenced to death in November 1998 for the July 21, 1997 murder of her neighbor, Dorothy Booth, 71, at Booth’s home in Lancaster.

Evidence showed McCarthy went to Booth’s home on the pretense of borrowing sugar and then stabbed the retired professor five times and hit her in the face with a candelabrum.

She cut off Booth’s left ring finger to take a diamond ring and nearly severed Booth’s left little finger as well, evidence showed.

She fled with Booth’s purse and wedding ring and later bought drugs with the stolen money, used the stolen credit cards and pawned the stolen ring, evidence showed.

On Jan. 7, the U.S. Supreme Court without comment, refused to review McCarthy’s case.

McCarthy is one of 10 women on women's death row at the Mountainview Unit in Gatesville, but the only one with an execution date.

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