Federal court reinstates death penalty order for Missouri inmate convicted of killing jailers

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned a stay of execution for a Missouri inmate who is set to be executed Tuesday for his role in the deaths of two jailers.

Michael Tisius, 42, has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of murdering Randolph County jailers Jason Acton and Leon Egley during a failed escape attempt.

U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough issued the stay on Wednesday and ordered an evidentiary hearing after Tisius’ lawyers argued that a juror in his 2010 sentencing was illiterate, which is not allowed by state law.

On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit said the lower court lacked jurisdiction to order the stay.

Keith O’Connor, an attorney for Tisius, said his team would appeal the decision, the Kansas City Star reported.

Missourians End the Death Penalty and Missouri’s NAACP called on Republican Gov. Mike Parson to grant Tisius clemency, citing a history of abuse, that he was 19 at the time of the killings, and his remorse and his rehabilitation from the shootings.

In 2000, Tisius and Tracie Bulington went to Randolph County Jail to help Bulington’s boyfriend Roy Vance escape, prosecutors said. Tisius shot and killed the jailers. The plot failed because the intruders could not find the keys to the cell.

Defense attorneys argued that Tisius intended to order jailers to go to a holding cell and release Vance and other inmates.

Tisius’ defense team released a video earlier this week in which Vance said he planned the escape attempt and manipulated Tisius into participating.

Bulington and Vance are serving life sentences.

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