Houston man gets new sentencing in boy's death

August 6, 2010 12:32:15 PM PDT
A federal appeals court says a Houston man on death row for raping and killing an 11-year-old boy more than two decades ago is entitled to a new sentencing trial but has refused to throw out his capital murder conviction. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling late Thursday came in the case of Warren Darrell Rivers. The 43-year-old construction worker was condemned for the May 1987 slaying of 11-year-old Carl Nance Jr.

Evidence showed the boy was lured into an abandoned house, assaulted, beaten, sexually mutilated and fatally stabbed.

Prosecutors had appealed a lower court's order granting him a new sentencing trial because of jury instruction problems. Rivers' lawyers had appealed the lower court's rejection of an entirely new trial because of jury selection issues.