Man in Houston nightclub shooting gets court OK for appeal

September 10, 2010 1:34:47 PM PDT
A Mexican national condemned for fatally shooting a security guard outside a Houston nightclub in 1994 has won court permission to move forward with an appeal. Thirty-four-year-old Felix Rocha argues his lawyers did a poor job developing and presenting evidence that could have influenced jurors to spare his life. Rocha has been on Texas death row since 1998 for killing 32-year-old Raphael Fuentes. Rocha was 18 at the time.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Friday it didn't believe Rocha was entitled to his claim but believed it should be examined because a similar appeal in another Texas case also is under court review.

The court rejected other claims that prosecutors improperly withheld evidence and the Mexican citizen wrongly was denied access to legal help from his country's consulate.


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