Ozark Murderer Receives Stay of Execution

The man convicted of the brutal murder of Gladys Kuehler has had his date with the grim reaper delayed by a federal court.

Walter Barton, 64, was scheduled to die Tuesday night at the maximum security prison in Bonne Terre by lethal injection. U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes, an Obama appointee, issued the stay Friday stating he needed more time to review the claims of Barton’s attorneys.

“Equity requires this Court’s meaningful consideration the petition for habeas relief, which the Court anticipates would require no more than 30 days,” Judge Wimes wrote in his seven-page ruling.

Barton was living in the Ozark trailer park owned by Gladys Kuehler in 1991 when she was sexually assaulted and stabbed more than 50 times. Barton’s attorneys have hired blood splatter experts who claim that anyone who committed the crime would have had more blood on their clothing than what police found on Barton.

The lawyers also claim that three jurors who convicted Barton now express concern they may have been wrong in their verdict.

Governor Mike Parson has been urged to give clemency to Barton, through a petition drive spearheaded by the NAACP and Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

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