Condemned Texas inmate set to die next week gets reprieve

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has halted next week’s scheduled execution of a man condemned for the rape-slaying of an 11-year-old Dallas girl in 2005.

The court said in a brief order Monday it wanted additional review of arguments that 45-year-old Steven Long is mentally impaired. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled mentally impaired people may not be executed.

Long was set for lethal injection Aug. 30 for the slaying of Kaitlyn Briana Smith. She disappeared May 21, 2005, after spending the night at a friend’s home in her Dallas neighborhood. Her body was found in a plastic bag under a nearby vacant mobile home.

Long’s bloody fingerprint was found near her body. He confessed later that day, blaming the attack on an alter ego he called “Pretty Boy.”