Texas death row inmate wins 11th-hour reprieve
WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court has granted a reprieve to a prisoner on death row in Texas just an hour before he was due to be executed for killing three teenagers in their home 13 years ago.
The highest US court said Wednesday it halted the lethal proceedings in order to review a petition from John Balentine’s lawyers.
Balentine, a 42-year-old African America, was sentenced to death for shooting three white boys — Edward Mark Caylor, 17, Kai Brooke Geyer, 15, and 15-year-old Steven Brady Watson — once each in the head with a pistol in Amarillo, Texas, in January 1998.
Texas, the most active US state in terms of executions, has already put four people to death so far this year. Another execution is scheduled there for Thursday.