The U.S. Supreme Court has stayed the execution of an Alabama inmate convicted in a 1982 murder-for-hire.

The court on Thursday night stayed the execution of Tommy Arthur without comment, until further order of the court.

Seventh-four-year-old Arthur had been scheduled to be executed Thursday evening by lethal injection at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.

Prison system spokesman Bob Horton said the state will wait until Arthur's death warrant expires at midnight to see if the execution can proceed.

He was convicted of killing Troy Wicker. Police on Feb. 1, 1982 found Wicker shot to death in his bed. Wicker's wife initially said she had been raped and an intruder killed her husband. She later testified that she had sex with Arthur and promised him $10,000 to kill her husband.

This is the seventh time Arthur, who has waged a lengthy legal battle challenging his conviction and the death penalty, has been granted an execution stay.