A stay of execution was granted Wednesday morning for a man scheduled to die by firing squad next week for the murder of an 11-year-old girl three years ago.
John Albert Taylor, 33, appeared before 2nd District Judge David Roth, who granted the stay to give the defendant's new attorney time to file appeals. Roth said he also granted the stay to consider whether a new law providing a sentence of life in prison without parole might affect Taylor's case.Taylor was convicted and sentenced to die for the June 23, 1989, strangulation death of Charla King, whose nude body was found by her mother in their Washington Terrace apartment. She had been strangled with a telephone cord, and Taylor's fingerprints were found on the bottom of the phone.
Last year the Utah Supreme Court upheld both Taylor's conviction and punishment.
Taylor's new attorney, Ron Yengich, asked for a stay to give him more time to review the record and to file new appeals.
Assistant Utah Attorney General Charlene Barlow objected to the stay, suggesting instead that Roth vacate next week's execution and issue a new warrant for Aug. 14.
Roth said he would grant the stay not only to give Yengich more time, but also to determine the status of a new law that gives the option of sentencing capital murder defendants to life without parole.