POLITICS

Robert Simon Jr., Death Row Inmate, Receives Last-Minute Stay Of Execution From Mississippi Court

05/24/2011 05:57 pm ET | Updated Jul 24, 2011

OXFORD, Miss (Reuters) -- The scheduled execution in Mississippi on Tuesday of a man who killed a family of four in 1990 has been stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, according to a court document.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections said it was waiting for the court's opinion, and was ready to carry out the orders of the court.

Further details were not immediately available.

The lethal injection scheduled for 6 p.m. local time would have been the third execution in the state this month.

Robert Simon Jr., 47, and an accomplice robbed and murdered a couple and their two children in Marks, Mississippi, the night of February 2, 1990, according to corrections officials.

They shot all four family members and cut off the husband's left ring finger to steal his wedding ring, officials said.

A passing motorist saw the family's house burning, and their bodies were found inside.

Simon confessed to the killings after his arrest, officials said. Found guilty of all four murders, he received one life sentence and three death sentences.

His accomplice, Anthony Carr, also was convicted of four counts of capital murder and is currently on death row.

Simon's execution was to be carried out at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.

Eighteen people have been executed in the United States so far this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

(Reporting by Jacob Batte; Writing by Colleen Jenkins and Jerry Norton; Editing by Tim Gaynor)

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