Appeals Court Blocks Swearingen Execution

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The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has halted Wednesday night's scheduled execution of convicted killer Larry Swearingen.

The punishment has been put off so questions about -- insect evidence -- can be reviewed.

The case is expected to be returned to the trial court.

Swearingen was condemned over the 1998 strangling of Montgomery College student Melissa Trotter. Her body was found in the Sam Houston National Forest.

Swearingen admits seeing and speaking with Trotter on campus, but denies involvement in her death.

Swearingen's attorneys have focused on the presence of specific insects from the site where Trotter's body was discovered.

Swearingen was arrested on outstanding warrants three days after Trotter was last seen. The defense says he was in custody at the time of her death.