A federal judge has blocked Wyoming from holding a new death penalty sentencing hearing for Dale Wayne Eaton until an appeals court rules on his claims.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne last year overturned Eaton's death sentence, saying the Wyoming Public Defender's Office didn't provide him an adequate defense.

The 70-year-old Eaton had been on death row for his murder conviction in the 1988 killing of Lisa Kimmell of Billings, Montana.

Johnson ruled this summer the state had failed to follow his order to appoint lawyers not associated with the Public Defender's Office for Eaton for any new death penalty hearing.

Johnson on Monday, blocked the state from sentencing Eaton again until an appeals court rules on Eaton's claims, he can't get a fair hearing.

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