The state then filed its own appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the execution to continue.
The nation's highest court rejected the state's appeal about 8:30 p.m.
Michael will remain in his current cell at the execution complex at Rockview state prison in Bellefonte, Centre County, before being transported back to the state prison at Greene, the Department of Corrections said.
"If and when the stay is lifted by the court, the execution will be scheduled directly," the department said.
Outside the Rockview state prison, reporters gathered. Four people had gathered to protest the pending execution, said Susan McNaughton, state Department of Corrections spokeswoman.
Inside the prison, six citizen witnesses, six media witnesses, and up to four of the victim's family members had assembled.
According to a statement given to reporters, Michael arrived at the prison at 6:09 a.m. Thursday. He ate a breakfast of French toast, orange juice, and coffee.
McNaughton said Michael had been quiet, polite, and composed. He was offered a sedative, but declined.
She said Michael was "somewhat emotional" as he was transported from Greene state prison to Rockview.
A "spiritual adviser" visited Michael this afternoon for almost an hour, McNaughton said.
As Michael awaited a decision, he read his Bible and newspapers and listened to the radio in his cell about 20 feet from the execution chamber.
Michael would have been the first person put to death by the state in 13 years. Pennsylvania has a little more than 200 people on death row; only California, Texas, and Florida have more.
Pennsylvania's last execution was July 6, 1999, when notorious Gary M. Heidnik was killed by lethal injection. Heidnik was convicted in 1988 of murder, rape and kidnapping in the torture-killings of two women - and the enslavement of four others - in the basement of his North Philadelphia home.
Contact staff writer Jonathan Lai on Twitter @elaijuh
This article contains information from the Associated Press.