- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

HOUSTON (AP) - The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused an appeal from a Harris County man sent to death row at his request for the strangling of a female impersonator 14 years ago.

Attorneys for 42-year-old Richard Masterson contended his earlier lawyers were deficient and his confession to police about the death of Darin Shane Honeycutt, known by the stage name of Brandi Houston, was improper.

Masterson testified against his attorneys’ advice at his 2002 trial. He told a Houston jury the 35-year-old Honeycutt died while the two were having sex. He also testified he’d be a future danger. That’s one of the questions put to jurors who deliberated the death sentence.

The appeals court, in its ruling late Friday, said the testimony meant Masterson’s lawyers “faced an uphill battle.”

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