AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — According to documents filed in Potter County District Court Wednesday, 47th District Attorney Randall Sims, the district attorney for Potter County as a representative of the state of Texas, is asking Steven Denney, the 320th district court judge for Potter County, to reconsider his order which recalled the execution date and warrant of execution for John Balentine.
According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Denny signed an order Tuesday afternoon recalling Balentine’s execution date and warrant of execution, stating that Balentine’s legal team was not properly notified of Balentine’s warrant of execution, along with his execution date, in accordance with the timeline laid out in the Texas Criminal Procedure Code.
Balentine’s original execution date was scheduled for Feb. 8, coming after he was convicted of shooting three teens in Amarillo in January 1998, according to previous reports.
The state of Texas’s “Motion to Reconsider Amended Order Recalling Execution Date and Warrant of Execution” argues that Denney “improperly conflated” the requirements outlined in the Criminal Code of Procedure. Officials previously said that Balentine’s team had a “hyper-technical” and “draconian” view of the statutes.
“With its order recalling the execution date and warrant of execution,” the motion reads, “the Court went beyond Balentine’s pleading. Beyond that, the order flowed from a faulty premise.”
The state stressed in its motion that the code requires that a copy of the court’s order setting the execution date should be sent to the legal team within two business days, something that was not at issue. They went on to refer back to their previous argument, stating their belief that statutes should be interpreted in a way that furthers their aims.
“Balentine’s motion is legally unfounded,” the motion ends. “…The state prays that the Court rescind its January 31, 2023 Amended Order Recalling Execution Date and Warrant of Execution, and deny Balentine’s Motion to Recall Order Setting Execution Datea and Warrant of Execution.”