DALLAS, Texas -- John Battaglia has received his second stay of execution.
Battaglia was sentenced to death after he was convicted in April 2002 for the murders of his two daughters, Liberty and Faith. Battaglia's daughters, ages 6 and 9, were staying with their father at his apartment near downtown Dallas on May 2, 2001 when he shot them both. Authorities say he fired the shots as the girls were on the phone with their mother, Mary Jean Pearle.
The convicted killer was scheduled for execution on Dec. 7, but Friday, the Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay to review Judge Robert Burns' decision on Battaglia's competency.
In mid-November, Burns ruled "Battaglia does understand that he is to be executed and that his execution is imminent, and he does understand the reason for his execution."
Battaglia was originally scheduled to face execution on March 30, but was issued his first stay of execution that same day. Court documents stated Battaglia was issued the stay after he claimed his lawyer abandoned him and requested counsel to be appointed to argue whether he's mentally competent to be executed.
According to the recent order, briefs on the competency issue are due within 60 days.
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