A Texas appeals court has halted Melissa Lucio's execution, which was scheduled for Wednesday, due to doubts about her innocence and concerns about the trial that led to her conviction.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay of execution Monday and sent the case back to a lower court for review, a decision that drew praise from her attorneys, criminal justice advocates and Lucio herself.

"I am grateful that the Court has given me the opportunity to live and prove my innocence," she said in a statement provided by her legal team.

Melissa Lucio is scheduled to be executed for a crime that may not have happened

Melissa Lucio is scheduled to be executed for a crime that may not have happened
Lucio was convicted 14 years ago of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Mariah, and later sentenced to death.

But Lucio and his family have long maintained their innocence. Mariah had suffered injuries from a fall shortly before her death, according to her attorneys. And supporters say police obtained a false confession from Lucio, who was later unable to provide a full defense at trial.

"Mariah is in my heart today and always," Lucio added in his statement. “I am grateful to have more days to be a mother to my children and a grandmother to my grandchildren.”

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Two hours after Mariah's death, police began questioning Lucio, who was pregnant with twins at the time.

During the five-hour interrogation, Lucio declared her innocence more than 100 times until she finally said, "I guess I did," when asked if she was responsible for some of her daughter's injuries.

Her legal team says problems with Lucio's prosecution continued at trial, where they argue the jury heard "unscientific false" evidence that misled them into reaching a guilty verdict.

"Melissa has a right to a fair new trial. The people of Texas have a right to a fair new trial," said Tivon Schardl, a federal public defender who is one of Lucio's attorneys.

"Texans should be grateful and proud that the Court of Criminal Appeals has given Melissa's legal team the opportunity to present new evidence of Melissa's innocence in Cameron County District Court," added Schardl. .

Lucio's pursuit of a new trial is supported by Texas Republican and Democratic lawmakers, a group of whom signed a letter to Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles asking them to grant him clemency, reported Houston Public Media