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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office has appealed the stay of execution for convicted killer Allen Nicklasson, calling the federal appeals court ruling "an abuse of discretion."

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday granted a stay for Nicklasson, scheduled to be put to death at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing businessman Richard Drummond nearly two decades ago.

Late Monday, Koster's office asked for a hearing before the full 8th Circuit. By Tuesday morning, no decision had been made on that appeal.

After going nearly three years without an execution, Missouri had been preparing for its second in three weeks. The state executed racist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin on Nov. 20. It was the first execution in Missouri using a single drug, pentobarbital.

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