The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday (July 7) blocked the scheduled execution of a man who chanted the chorus to METALLICA's "No Remorse" — "Another day, another death, another sorrow, another breath" — after fatally shooting a man in the head in Corpus Christi and robbing him of $13 twenty years ago.
Appeals filed to the court contend jurors were not allowed to properly consider Troy Kunkle's drug and alcohol abuse history and that Kunkle's due-process rights were violated when appeals lawyers were denied access to a state-paid full transcript of juror questioning, according to the Associated Press.
The Supreme Court issued an indefinite stay.
Kunkle, 38, was set for lethal injection Wednesday night for fatally shooting Steven Horton, 29, during a robbery in Corpus Christi. He would be the 11th Texas prisoner executed this year.
On legal notepads in court, Kunkle wrote METALLICA lyrics, alleging the lyrics from "No Remorse" inspired him to kill. This disturbed the band's lead singer, James Hetfield, when he learned how Kunkle reacted to the verse, according to KZTV10.
Hetfield, in 1984, said, "I guess this kid took it into his own ways. Of course, we're upset but I mean we had nothing directly to do with it."
Leslie Poynter Dixon, a former assistant district attorney in Nueces County who prosecuted the case, last week recalled a hearing about whether the METALLICA song could be used as evidence.
"As this album [METALLICA's 'Kill 'Em All'] was being played for the judge so he could make his decision on whether it would be admitted, Mr. Kunkle was playing an air guitar," said Dixon, now the district attorney in Van Zandt County in East Texas. "That really struck me. It suggested to me that Mr. Kunkle had no regard for human life — even his own — because this was his trial and the state was seeking the death penalty."