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HOUSTON The Texas attorney general s office is planning to appeal a federal district order that halted this week s execution of a man condemned for the 2000 abduction, rape and strangling of a 12-year-old Southeast Texas girl.

Jonathan Green, 44, was set to die Wednesday in Huntsville for the slaying of Christina Neal. Green lived near Neal s family in Dobbin, about 45 miles northwest of Houston.

Her body was found inside his home about a month after she disappeared in June 2000. Green s attorneys contend he s mentally incompetent for execution.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas ruled Monday that attorneys Green weren t properly allowed at a state competency hearing to present testimony from mental health professionals who treated him. The hearing was two years ago.

Atlas also says a judge who found Green competent for execution relied on an order drafted by prosecutors, that Green s lawyers had no opportunity to object and that at least one legal standard in the ruling was incorrectly applied.

State attorneys filed a notice Monday with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hours after Atlas stopped the execution.

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