HUNTSVILLE — The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, for a third time, blocked the execution of a former Army recruiter for the rape-slaying of a woman in Fort Worth nearly 10 years ago.
Cleve Foster, 47, was set to die Tuesday evening in Huntsville.
The high court twice earlier this year had stopped Foster's scheduled lethal injection as his punishment was imminent. This latest court ruling came about 2½ hours before Foster could have been taken to the Texas death chamber.
Foster was meeting with one of his lawyers in a small holding cell a few feet from the death chamber when a Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman delivered the news.
"He thanked God and pointed to his attorney, saying this woman helped save his life," prison spokesman Jason Clark said.
He also said Foster repeated his insistence that he was innocent.
"I did not do this crime," Foster told him. "I know there are those out there who have hard feelings against me, but I did not do this."
Foster was one of two men convicted and sent to death row for fatally shooting a 30-year-old woman whose body was found in a ditch by pipeline workers in Fort Worth in February 2002. His partner died last year of cancer.