LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A federal judge has issued a stay for next week's execution of a death-row inmate set to die for the murder of a Bald Knob woman.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes granted Jack Harold Jones Jr.'s request for a stay. Jones is challenging the state's Methods of Execution Act, which was approved last year.

Jones was to be executed Tuesday. The state attorney general's office says they'll appeal the decision.

Holmes ruled Thursday that if he didn't consider Jones' argument, it would "ignore the equally important public interest in the humane and constitutional application of the state's lethal injection statute."

Jones was sentenced to death for the murder of Mary Phillips.