LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -A federal judge has stopped the execution of Jason Reeves scheduled for later this month. Reeves murdered four-year-old Mary Jean Thigpen in 2001.
Now he’s started what’s likely his last chance before execution: an appeal in the federal court system.
A death warrant, signed by a local state district judge, set Reeves' execution date for August 19. for the 2001 murder of the little girl, who was stabbed sixteen times and raped.
Calcasieu District Attorney John DeRosier says defense attorneys always file a federal appeal after all state appeals have been exhausted.
“The name of the game for them is to postpone, postpone, postpone. And the longer they can carry this out the better off they think their defendant will be. That's why appeals in these kinds of cases often last between fifteen and twenty year,” said DeRosier.
Executions are on hold right now in Louisiana--due to issues involving the availability of drugs used for lethal injection.
"The State of Louisiana is not executing anybody because they say they cannot get the drugs to do it. The Feds, in the federal system, they have an ability to get the drugs, other states have an ability to get the drugs. I do not know why the state of Louisiana says they cannot get the drugs. I think it is a manufactured excuse, but none the less, i think that is a death penalty issue," said DeRosier.
Still, unless the death penalty is done away with, DeRosier believes Reeves will one day die for his heinous crime.
“I expect that he’s going to lose all the way up and including the United States Supreme Court and will ultimately be executed, unless there’s a moratorium by law on the death penalty in Louisiana,” said DeRosier.
DeRosier believes all relevant issues concerning Reeves have already been dealt with by the courts.
If Reeves is denied relief in Federal District Court in Lake Charles, his case will then go to the U.S. Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.