A last-ditch appeal by death row inmate William Kuenzel is headed for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals — but Kuenzel’s court date is more than two weeks after the date set for his execution.

Kuenzel’s lawyers will get to make their case to the appeals court April 7, according to a order handed down by the court Monday. Kuenzel is scheduled to die by lethal injection on March 19. His lawyers said they will file for a stay of execution.

“We see this as a sign that the attorney general’s office was premature in seeking an execution date,” said David Kochman, one of Kuenzel’s attorneys.

Kuenzel, who turned 53 Sunday, has been in prison since the late 1980s for the murder of Sylacauga convenience store clerk Linda Jean Offord. Kuenzel has always claimed innocence, but many of his past appeals have been rejected on the grounds that he missed a deadline to file them.

Attempts to reach the Alabama attorney general’s office, which sought the execution date for Kuenzel, were not immediately successful Monday.

Kuenzel is one of nine inmates for whom the state is seeking execution dates, following a long hiatus on executions caused by a shortage of execution drugs.

 

Capitol & statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.