- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - The state’s top criminal appeals court has refused an appeal from a Mexican national on Texas death row for his participation in street gang shootings in Houston that left four dead.

Lawyers for Juan Carlos Alvarez argued to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that his initial appeals attorney was incompetent because of an illness that prompted that lawyer to withdraw from the case. Alvarez also had wanted money approved for investigators and experts.

The Harris County trial court refused and Wednesday’s ruling from the appeals court upholds that decision, saying the appeal isn’t authorized.

The 37-year-old Alvarez is condemned for two drive-by shootings with an assault rifle in June 1998. Four people were killed. Evidence also tied him to another fatal shooting days earlier on a Houston freeway.

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