RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has called off a man's execution in a murder-for-hire case, citing concerns about some of the information presented to jurors.
The Democratic governor commuted 38-year-old Ivan Teleguz's sentence to life in prison Thursday. For weeks, supporters of Teleguz urged McAuliffe to halt his execution because they believe he may be innocent.
Teleguz was scheduled to be put to death next week, but on Thursday, McAuliffe commuted his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
McAuliffe said he believes Teleguz hired another man to kill his ex-girlfriend in 2001. But he said he cannot let him be put to death because jurors were given false information that may have swayed their sentencing decision.
McAuliffe said jurors were told the man was involved in another murder in Pennsylvania, which never happened.
Teleguz was convicted in 2006 of hiring another man to kill his ex-girlfriend in Harrisonburg. After his trial, two prosecution witnesses who implicated Teleguz said they lied.
The man convicted of fatally stabbing Stephanie Sipe in 2001 has maintained that Teleguz hired him to do the killing.
Sipe's sister has said her family remains convinced Teleguz is guilty.
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