McALESTER, Okla. (AP) _ Hours before he was scheduled to die by injection, an Oklahoma inmate received a stay of execution from a federal appeals court that said new DNA findings raised questions about blood evidence used by prosecutors at trial.

Loyd LaFevers, 34, was scheduled to die by injection early today for a 1985 murder.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver granted the stay Wednesday, and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson seeking to vacate the order.

Defense attorney Pat Ehlers had argued that recent DNA tests showed blood on a pair of pants used by the state in LaFevers' trial did not belong to the murder victim.

Ehlers argued the DNA findings warranted further testing, including tests on hair found at the crime scene.

In ordering the stay, senior Circuit Judge John Porfilio wrote that it would be unjust ``in accordance with Constitutional principles'' to execute LaFevers until the new evidence can be reviewed.

LaFevers and a co-defendant, Randall Eugene Cannon, were convicted in 1985 of kidnapping and killing 84-year-old Addie Hawley. Cannon remains on death row.