Court Blocks Execution of Convicted Hitman

By  | 

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Rolando Ruiz will not be executed Tuesday night after all.

The hitman, who was paid $2,000 to gun down a San Antonio woman 15 years ago in a scheme devised by her husband and his brother to collect her life insurance benefits, won a reprieve that blocked his scheduled execution this evening.

Ruiz, who turned 35 last week, won the reprieve from the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals more than an hour after he could have been given lethal drugs that would have made him the 19th prisoner executed this year in the nation's most active capital punishment state.

Ruiz was condemned for the July 14, 1992, fatal shooting of 29-year-old Theresa Rodriguez, killed in the garage at her home as she was getting out of her car and with her husband, Michael, and his brother, Mark, at the scene.