NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has granted a death row inmate a temporary reprieve from execution. Lee issued a short statement Friday afternoon saying he is granting a reprieve to Pervis Payne until April 9 “due to the challenges and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Payne is the fourth inmate to receive a reprieve this year because of the virus. He had been scheduled to die on Dec. 3 for the 1987 stabbing deaths of Charisse Christopher and her 2-year-old daughter, Lacie Jo. Payne has always said he was innocent. A judge ordered DNA testing for the first time in September, and the results are pending.
By TRAVIS LOLLER