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Federal judge halts execution of Missouri man pending hearing

A federal judge has halted the execution of a Missouri man who was set to die by lethal injection next Tuesday.

Michael Tisius, 42, was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the June 2000 shooting deaths of Randolph County corrections officers Leon Egley and Jason Acton.

Tisius has been serving time in the Department of Corrections until the Missouri Supreme Court set an execution date for 6 p.m. June 6.

In an order issued Wednesday morning, U.S. District Judge Stephen Bough said the execution is pending an evidentiary hearing.

Tisius' legal team recently found one of the jurors was not able to read or write during his 2010 resentencing hearing.

According to state law, a person is disqualified from serving on a jury if they are unable to read, speak and understand English.

According to the order, the juror said a courthouse employee helped him fill out a juror questionnaire.

Tisius' legal team brought the issue to the Missouri Supreme Court, which struck down the motion, then brought the issue to federal court.

Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty delivered petitions for clemency to Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday. The organization said in most states outside of Missouri, those who committed a crime when they were a teenager are not eligible for execution. Tisius was 19 years old at the time of the crime.

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