Coronavirus: Execution of Texas man who clubbed pregnant wife and father-in-law dead put on hold over outbreak
Many people would be present during the execution and so the execution is put back for two months
TEXAS: A convicted killer's execution date had to be pushed back by around two months due to the coronavirus outbreak.
44-year-old John William Hummel had been sentenced to death in 2011 after being convicted for the murder of his pregnant wife, Joy Hummel, and his father-in-law Clyde Bedford. As per what is suggested by the evidence, he may have also taken the life of his 5-year-old daughter but was not convicted for her death.
A convenience store clerk Kristie Freeze had testified that Hummel had started to flirt with her in the fall of 2010, court documents reveal. Freeze also shared that she knew Hummel was married and had tried to break things off after finding out his wife was pregnant in December 2010.
This reportedly led to the murder. In a written statement, Hummel had confessed, "I grabbed the baseball bat and hit her in the head repeatedly until she fell to the ground. Then I grabbed some of my other knives and swords [and] began stabbing her."
He also admitted that he beat his daughter and his father-in-law in the head and then proceeded to set their house on fire, investigator James Rizy testified. Hummel was found guilty on two counts of murder and then sentenced to death.
He had been scheduled to be executed on March 18 at around 6 pm in the Huntsville Texas death chamber.
During an execution, many people are present including lawyers, doctors, correctional officers, and the inmate’s friends and family.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice had proceeded to carry the COVID-19 screening process for all scheduled to be present at the execution but ultimately decided to postpone the execution. The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals decided to issue a 60-day stay on Hummel's execution.
The court wrote, "[W]e have... determined that the execution should be stayed at the current time in light of the current health crisis and the enormous resources needed to address that emergency." The inmate had been on death row in Texas for the last nine years.
We had previously reported that as of March 17, there are 6,518 confirmed cases in the US with 108 fatalities. The global tally of confirmed cases is 198,302 with 7,956 deaths.