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Las Vegas prosecutors look to postpone Zane Floyd’s execution

Updated May 10, 2021 - 1:55 pm

Prosecutors on Monday pushed back the date they want to execute Zane Floyd for killing four people inside a Las Vegas grocery store.

They took the step after Charles Daniels, the director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, testified last week that he would need up to four months to prepare for a lethal injection.

The Clark County district attorney’s office initially filed court papers last month seeking to kill Floyd the week of June 7, but on Monday they requested the week of July 26.

“Given the Director’s grave responsibilities to properly carry out the execution, it seems prudent to allow the Director to have the time that he trusts would be adequate to properly fulfill the execution,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Alex Chen wrote.

Later Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware said he was “inclined” to order a stay of execution for Floyd but suggested that would not come this week.

A state court judge is expected to decide on signing Floyd’s death warrant later this week.

Federal public defenders representing Floyd declined to comment Monday on the request from prosecutors.

Floyd, now 45, received the death sentence after killing four and seriously wounding another in a 1999 shooting at an Albertsons on West Sahara Avenue.

During a federal court hearing on Thursday, Daniels testified that he would prefer to have up to four months to prepare for an execution.

Daniels said he would follow a court order to perform the state-sanctioned killing but added that he still had not finalized the plans for Floyd’s death.

Federal public defenders have asked Boulware to stay the execution and objected to prison officials waiting until after an execution warrant is signed to release the state’s lethal injection protocol.

“Director Daniels’ testimony highlights the urgency of Floyd’s request for an injunction preventing Defendants from carrying out his execution before the disclosure of the execution protocol and before Floyd has had the ability to litigate his constitutional claims,” the lawyers wrote in a brief filed Friday.

Last week, prosecutors filed papers in state court arguing that Floyd should not be allowed to continue to ask the judge to prevent an order of execution and “essentially give defendants the ability to delay their executions in perpetuity.”

Chen wrote that Floyd “fails to cite any lawful authority that the Attorney General’s Office or NDOC must provide assurances it is able to carry out the execution before issuing the Order or signing the Warrant.”

A jury convicted Floyd about a year after he used a 12-gauge shotgun to fatally shoot four employees — Lucy Tarantino, 60, Thomas Darnell, 40, Chuck Leos, 40, and Dennis “Troy” Sargent, 31 — inside an Albertsons on West Sahara Avenue. Zachary Emenegger, 21, was shot twice but survived after playing dead inside the store.

Floyd also was found guilty of repeatedly raping a woman in a guesthouse at his parents’ home before the shooting.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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