Man on death row 2 decades wins appeal

September 3, 2013 1:14:49 PM PDT
A Harris County man on Texas death row for 20 years has won a federal court appeal that allows him to pursue claims he's mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in the case of 50-year-old John Reyes Matamoros.

The Mexican Mafia gang member was convicted in 1992, two years after his 70-year-old neighbor, Eddie Goebel, died of 25 stab wounds during a break-in at his home in Houston. Matamoros was on parole at the time after serving prison time for another break-in where a pregnant woman was sexually abused.

Matamoros' lawyers contended he deserved a court review because of trial testimony from a Fort Worth psychiatrist whose methodology and credibility have been questioned in other capital cases.

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