HUNTSVILLE A Dallas judge has halted the scheduled execution of a Lancaster woman that was set for Tuesday evening. She would have been the first woman put to death in the U.S. in three years.

The order from state District Judge Larry Mitchell moves the execution of 51-year-old Kimberly McCarthy to April 3.

It wasn't immediately certain if the Dallas County District Attorney's office will appeal the ruling.

Lawyers for McCarthy, who is black, argued the jury that convicted and sentenced her to death was selected improperly based on race. It was made up of 11 white people and one black person.

She faced lethal injection for the 1997 beating, stabbing and robbery of her neighbor, 71-year-old Dorothy Booth, in Lancaster. McCarthy cut off Booth's finger to steal her wedding ring and sell it for crack.

WFAA's Rebecca Lopez contributed to this report

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