- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected the appeal of a man convicted in the 1994 rape and murder of a Petersburg woman.

Shermaine Ali Johnson was 16 when he killed Hope Denise Hall, a part-time television producer. He was sentenced to life with no chance of parole.

Johnson was in prison for two other rapes when DNA testing linked him to the 22-year-old Hall. He was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death but the U.S. Supreme Court blocked his execution.

His appeal centered on whether a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving juvenile murderers and mandatory life-without-parole sentences could be applied retroactively in his case.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1A22pK7 ) reports that a three-judge panel agreed Thursday that the rule could not be retroactively applied in his case.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

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