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Execution Postponed: Family Speaks Out

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A high-profile Texas execution is put on hold. Governor Rick Perry delayed Wednesday nights scheduled execution of convicted killer Francis Newton of Houston.

Perry accepted a recommendation from the Board of Pardons and Paroles to suspend the execution for 120 days for further review.

Frances Newton believes the person who killed her family is still out there. 39-year-old Newton is holding out hope that her innocence will be proven.

Newton says going to the death chamber doesn't scare her, she adds, "What scares me is an innocent person could possibly be executed and its probably not the first time. It scares me that somebody could so easily be here."

Newton was condemend for killing her husband and their two young children in 1987. The then 21-year-old wife and mother was arrested two weeks later after trying to collect on a $50,000 dollar insurance policy she had taken out a month before the murders.

"I can't help that. The fact is I got insurance cause I didn't have any and we already had a tragedy hit the family. I told everything that was going on in our lives at the time. I believe what my husband was involved in probably had something to do with it."

Newton believes her husband owed money to a drug dealer named "Charlie." But Newton's defense team never brought it up. Because of that, she feels she was poorly represented.

"I loved being a mother and now i've lost that. My children have lost their innocence and their whole lives...its a tremendous loss." says Newton.

Newton's parents, and siblings were on hand to witness her execution.
But emotions ran high when they heard the news that the Houston woman would get a repreive.

"That it's gonna be fine. You know I've been telling her that the whole time. Everything's gonna be fine. You know, I said God is taking care of this situation. You know, well, you know I've been telling you that the whole time. God is real." says Newton's mother, Iva Nelms.

The family has stuck by her side for the past 17 years.

"I knew she was innocent...all the time and not just because she's my sister, but you can't kill your family and have the kind of peace that she has. You just can't do it, you know." says Newton's sister, Pamela Nelms.

Newton has spent most of her adult life on death row at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville. She would of become only the third woman executed in the state by lethal injection and the first black woman executed in Texas.

For now, the family is holding on to hope that their daughter and sister be proven innocent.

Whatever Newton's fate...she has prepared herself for eternal life.