April 8 (UPI) -- The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Monday stayed the execution of a man convicted of murdering a friend and his 81-year-old grandmother.
In a three-page ruling, the court said it determined that Mark Robertson's execution should be stayed pending further order from the court, but did not clarify its reason for granting the stay.
Robertson was placed on death row in 1991 after he was found guilty for the 1989 murder of 81-year-old Edna Brau.
Defense lawyers asked the court to reconsider the decision and look to determine whether then-attorney Michael Byck "engaged in purposeful discrimination" by working with prosecutors to ensure only white jurors tried his case, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Court documents stated that Byck "brazenly recounted" his efforts to only select white jurors during a 1997 appeals hearing in which he said he'd be "more than happy to violate anybody else's rights" in order to defend his client.
Byck allegedly believed black jurors would be less sympathetic to Robertson's case and reached an agreement with the prosecutors to "indulge each other" in their prejudices.
Robertson confessed to killing Brau, her grandson Sean Hill, after the two did drugs and went fishing in August 1989.
He also told jurors he murdered 7-Eleven clerk Jeffrey Saunders, 19, before killing Hill and Brau.