A federal judge has stopped the execution of a convicted child rapist and murderer scheduled for later this month.

A state district judge set Jason Reeves’ execution for Aug. 19 for the 2001 death of 4-year-old Mary Jean Thigpen, who was stabbed 16 times and raped.

Reeves has started what’s likely his last chance before execution: an appeal in the federal court system.

Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier says defense attorneys always file a federal appeal after all state appeals have been exhausted.

DeRosier believes all relevant issues concerning Reeves’ case have already been dealt with by the courts.

If Reeves is denied relief in federal court in Lake Charles, his case will then go to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans.

 

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