Michael Ryan will not be executed March 6th.
The Nebraska Supreme Court has issued a stay of execution, because Ryan has an appeal pending before Richardson County District Judge Daniel Bryan, who heard arguments on the motion last week in Beatrice.
Michael Ryan, 63, faces the death penalty for the brutal torture and killing of James Thimm, a member of his religious cult. The murder took place at the cult’s compound near Rulo in southeast Nebraska in 1985. Ryan has also been convicted of killing 5-year-old Luke Stice, the son of a cult member.
During arguments before Judge Bryan, defense attorney Jerry Soucie argued that Ryan should not be eligible for lethal injection, because Nebraska didn’t have its lethal injection protocol in place when Ryan was convicted. An assistant attorney general countered that the defense was merely engaging in stall tactics. Soucie has requested that Ryan’s sentenced be commuted to life in prison.