Updated: Condemned man spared execution in Texas

After having eaten his last meal and moments before receiving lethal injection, Texas death row inmate Cleve Foster won a last-minute stay of execution from the U.S. Supreme Court late Tuesday. The Kentucky native was scheduled to die at 6 p.m. Jan. 11 in the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Prison.

Foster’s execution was the first scheduled execution in 2011 for the state of Texas.

Foster had presented his appeal to Justice Antonin Scalia, who then referred the case to the full court, which granted the stay as the court considers whether to rehear the case. Scalia and Justice Samuel Alito dissented, stating simply that they would deny Cleve’s application.

The former Army veteran was convicted of the 2002 abduction, rape and murder of a Fort Worth woman.

Original Article: Kentucky native in line for execution in Texas

A former U.S. Army veteran, Cleve “Sarge” Foster, 47, is the next death row inmate in line for execution in Texas. He is scheduled to die Tuesday, Jan. 11, by lethal injection at Huntsville State Prison.

Foster and a friend were found guilty of the Valentine Day, Feb. 14, 2002, abduction, rape and murder of a 28-year old woman in Fort Worth.

He and codefendant, Shelton Aaron Ward, sexually assaulted and shot in the head Nyanuer “Mary” Pal, an immigrant from Sudan. The two men had followed Pal when she left a bar after closing time. Her nude body was found the next morning in a ditch by workers laying pipe.

DNA from both men were found on Pal’s body, according to the court records.

Foster was also charged with the murder of another Fort Worth woman, Rachel Urnosky. That death occurred on Dec. 18, 2001. Both Pal and Urnosky were shot with the same gun surrendered to investigators by Foster.

The murder charge in connection with Urnosky’s killing was dismissed after Foster was given the death penalty in connection with Pal’s homicide.

Ward, who was also convicted of the crime, has since died in prison from brain cancer. Before his death, it was reported that he wrote a letter stating that Foster did not take part in the murders, only he had.

Foster’s efforts to appeal his conviction eventually reached as far as the U.S. Supreme Court but he was unsuccessful.

Foster was from Henderson County, Kentucky. His sister, Donna Foster, and her mother, Mary McGan, also of Henderson County, will witness the execution at the Walls Unit of Huntsville State Prison.

Foster will become the first execution in Texas for 2011. He will become

the 465th convicted murderer to be executed in Texas since the return

of the Death Penalty in 1982.

On Feb. 15, 2011 the state intends to execute Michael Wayne Hall.

Appropriately, on this same day Feb. 15, 13-years earlier (2/15/98) Hall and one co-defendant abducted a 19-year old white female from a public street and drove her to a remote location. Hall and the co-defendant shot the victim several times with a pellet pistol and several times with a .22-caliber pistol. They were caught at the border when they were attempting to leave the state.