Anesthesiologist James F. Kelly, who is charged with the murder of a Colorado man who died from a lethal injection machine last year, has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge of violating a federal law prohibiting the use of lethal injection drugs in state executions.
A judge in Denver Friday set a hearing for Feb. 16 to determine whether Kelly, 56, will receive the death penalty.
He has pleaded to not guilty and is being held without bond.
Kelly’s attorney, Paul W. Fuhrman, said in court Friday that the lawyer is considering a motion to dismiss the charges and to dismiss all charges against Kelly.
Fuhrmans defense team is seeking a stay of execution.
Kelly has argued that his attorneys are trying to avoid the death sentence, which could mean that the case against him is thrown out by a judge.
The judge in the case is scheduled to consider the request in a hearing set for Feb, 17.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 rejected the government’s request to overturn the court ruling in Kelly’s case.
The Denver-based 8th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the death-penalty case of the two men, who were in their late 30s, that the federal law banning lethal injection does not apply to the execution of a defendant.