WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — For the third time in three years, a man convicted of murdering a pregnant former Wichita Falls woman and her 7-year-old son may be avoiding his latest execution date.


55-year-old Stephen Barbee has been on death row since February, 2006 awaiting execution for the 2005 suffocation deaths of Rider graduate Lisa Underwood and her son Jayden in their Fort Worth home.

His execution is set for next Wednesday, but attorneys were granted a preliminary injunction by a federal judge that appears to put it on hold unless certain conditions are met.

The injunction states the execution may proceed only if the state publishes a clear policy on an inmate’s religious rights in the execution chamber. The state has appealed the injunction.

Barbee won a stay a year ago over the denial of his request to have a spiritual adviser be in the chamber and lay hands on him. The latest appeal stated the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has not published its written policy to define what spiritual advisers may and may not do.

Barbee’s attorney has also filed a separate challenge to the execution alleging cruel and unusual punishment. Because of severe osteoarthritis Barbee says he can not fully extend his arms and has requested he be allowed to have his arms bent for the lethal injection, and that T-D-C-J has not replied to the request.