- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review an appeal from a convicted killer sent to death row for raping, beating and strangling a 77-year-old woman at her Houston home nearly 22 years ago.

The high court, without comment Monday, ruled in the case of 61-year-old Jorge Villanueva.

In earlier appeals, Villanueva’s attorneys argued he had deficient legal help during his Harris County capital murder trial in 1996.

Villanueva was convicted of the August 1994 slaying of Maria Jova Montiel. Prison records show the former landscaper also is serving life for an injury-to-a-child conviction.

Villanueva’s case was among hundreds identified in 2003 for additional review of DNA results because of shoddy work by the Houston Police Department crime lab.

He does not yet have an execution date.

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