Texas death row inmate's execution on hold

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Associated Press

Posted on January 12, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Jan 12 at 6:02 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas judge has halted next month's scheduled execution of a man who suffocated a 2-year-old Utah girl on Christmas Day 1997 and buried her in a suitcase near Houston.

A Houston judge Friday found Britt Ripkowski suffers from bipolar disorder and is legally incompetent.

The Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/UX1N9B) Ripkowski's attorney says his client had suffered from the condition since age 16.

Ripkowski had been set to be executed Feb. 20.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Hardaway says a new execution date can be set if Ripkowski's mental condition stabilizes.

The 41-year-old Ripkowski was condemned for killing 2-year-old Dominique Frome.

The child was murdered two days after her mother, Ripkowski's ex-girlfriend, was killed and left in a field near the Utah-Colorado border. Ripkowski also was charged with her death.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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