Honduran man on Texas death row loses appeal

February 23, 2012 8:09:10 AM PST
A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal from a Honduran man sent to Texas death row for killing a woman during a robbery of her Houston home more than 16 years ago.

Carlos Ayestas argued unsuccessfully to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that his lawyers were deficient, he was unaware he could have contacted the Honduran consulate for legal help under an international treaty, evidence was insufficient and jury instructions improper.

A Harris County jury in 1997 took 12 minutes to decide Ayestas should die for murdering 67-year-old Santiaga Pareque. He and two other men showed up at her apartment in September 1995 under the guise of answering a newspaper ad about a bed for sale.

The 42-year-old Ayestas does not have an execution date.