paul_augustus_howell.jpgSTARKE, Fla. (AP) A federal court is considering a last-ditch appeal from South Florida drug trafficker who was convicted of killing a state trooper with a pipe bomb 21 years ago.

Paul Augustus Howell was set to die by lethal injection Tuesday at Florida State Prison near Starke, but the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. District of Appeal on Monday temporarily blocked the execution until it could hear the merits of his case.

The 47-year-old native of Jamaica was convicted of murdering Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jimmy Fulford on Feb. 1, 1992 in north Florida.

Authorities said Howell hired a driver to deliver a gift-wrapped microwave oven with the pipe bomb inside to two Marianna women.

Fulford stopped the driver for speeding east of Tallahassee. The package exploded when he tried to open it.