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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The first federal execution to take place in 17 years has been halted due to the coronavirus. 

Daniel Lee, 47, was supposed to be executed Monday at the federal prison in Terre Haute for the 1996 murders of William Mueller, his wife Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell. 

However, Chief Justice Jane Magnus-Stinson of the Southern District of Indiana said Friday that she was putting the execution on hold because of concerns from the victims’ family members over the coronavirus. COVID-19 has spread quickly in prisons across America. 

Magnus-Stinson’s hall will delay the execution until there is no longer a national health emergency. 

So far, the halt only applies to Lee’s execution, and not to the two others scheduled for Wednesday and Friday of next week.