- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

HOUSTON (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal from a Houston man on death row for the 2003 slaying of a 20-year-old friend whose car he stole.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused arguments from lawyers for 31-year-old Damon Matthews who contended attorneys failed to investigate and present evidence at his 2004 trial that Matthews may have suffered brain damage because of his mother’s drug and alcohol use while she was pregnant.

The court said Thursday the case record shows an abundance of mitigating evidence, including his mother’s substance abuse.

Matthews was condemned for shooting Esphandiar Gonzalez seven times in the head and stealing his car. Matthews was arrested hours later as he was cleaning blood from inside the car.

He doesn’t yet have an execution date.



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