Court blocks execution in triple killing

MONTGOMERY, AL. (AP) - The Alabama Supreme Court has voted 4-3 to block the execution of a Gasden man who was sentenced to death  for the killing of three workers at a Popeye's restaurant in 1994.

Robert Bryant Melson execution was set for February 18.

Two justices recused themselves from the vote on the stay Tuesday. The court gave no explanation on why it stayed the execution.

Justices Champ Lyons, Patricia Smith, Glenn Murdock and Greg Shaw approved the request for a stay. Dissenting were Justices Thomas Woodall, Lyn Stewart and Michael Bolin. Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and Justice Tom Parker recused themselves.

Melson and a cohort were accused of rounding up Popeye's workers and taking them into a freezer, where they were shot. Three died.

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