updated 12/2/2008 2:37:49 PM ET 2008-12-02T19:37:49

A federal judge in Kansas has issued a stay in what would be the military's first execution since 1961.

U.S. District Judge Richard Rogers issued the order Nov. 26 in the case of former soldier Ronald A. Gray, who had been scheduled to die Dec. 10 for a spree of murders and rapes in the 1980s.

Attorneys for the Justice Department filed documents Tuesday asking Rogers to reconsider his stay order.

The 43-year-old Gray is held at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. He was arrested in connection with a spree of four slayings and eight rapes in the Fayetteville, N.C., area between April 1986 and January 1987, while he was stationed at Fort Bragg. He was convicted of murdering two women.

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