Execution not likely for killer because of stay issued by late Gov. Carnahan

Jefferson City, Mo. – A man who's been on death row for 25 years may never be executed because the late Gov. Mel Carnahan issued a stay that was not resolved before he died in a plane crash.

William Theodore Boliek Jr. was sentenced to death for the 1983 shooting death of Jody Harless of Kansas City.

Carnahan issued a stay two days before Boliek was scheduled to die in 1997. The governor ordered a board of inquiry to investigate claims that Boliek's attorney did not give him an adequate defense.

Carnahan did not issue a decision before he died in October of 2000. Lawyers for his successor, Bob Holden, said the stay was worded in a way that meant only Carnahan could act on it.