A Texas death row inmate has asked a federal magistrate to not dismiss his civil rights lawsuit until a state court decides whether it will order new DNA testing. The lawsuit claims the state violated Henry Watkins Skinner's civil rights by withholding access to knives and other evidence he wants tested.
Skinner claims the tests could show he didn't kill his girlfriend and her sons nearly two decades ago in the Panhandle. The hearing comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Skinner could ask for the untested evidence, but left unresolved whether the district attorney had to surrender those items.
A state court will make that decision. Skinner's attorneys asked a federal magistrate Monday to recommend the civil rights suit not be dismissed until the state court acts.