WJHL.com - Death row inmate Nickolus Johnson granted stay

Death row inmate Nickolus Johnson granted stay

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL/ AP) - A death row inmate who was scheduled to die later this month has been given a stay of execution.

Nickolus Johnson applied for what's called post-conviction relief, a standard move for death row inmate. That immediately triggered a stay in his execution, and a judge appointed Johnson a death penalty attorney who'll fight to have his conviction overturned.

"We have years of litigation to go in this case," District Attorney General Barry Staubus said. Staubus told News Channel 11 the stay in execution was an expected development.

The 35-year-old, who has been on death row since 2007, was to be put to death on April 22 for killing a Bristol police officer in 2004.

The last inmate executed in the state was Cecil Johnson on Dec. 2, 2009.

There are 76 inmates on Tennessee's death row, including one woman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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