TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A federal appellate court has stopped the execution for now of a drug trafficker convicted of killing a Florida state trooper with a pipe bomb.
The 11th U.S. District Court of Appeal in Atlanta granted the stay to Paul Augustus Howell on Monday. He is scheduled to be executed Tuesday.
Howell's lawyers are appealing a federal judge's rejection of a last-ditch appeal. Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers, though, certified an appeal to the 11th Circuit.
The South Florida drug ring member was convicted of murdering Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jimmy Fulford in 1992. Fulford stopped a car for speeding in north Florida. He was killed when he opened a gift-wrapped microwave oven with the bomb inside after finding it in the vehicle.
Authorities say Howell intended the bomb kill two Marianna women because they knew too much about a drug-related killing.