Condemned killer of East Texas woman loses appeal

April 19, 2012 9:16:54 AM PDT
A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal from a condemned inmate convicted of fatally beating an East Texas woman with a tire iron during a break-in at her home nearly a decade ago.

Lawyers for 33-year-old Mario Swain contended his confessions to the December 2002 slaying of 46-year-old Lola Nixon of Longview improperly were admitted at his capital murder trial. They also argued his trial lawyers were deficient and jury selection was improper.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Wednesday refused the claims, moving Swain a step closer to execution.

Nixon apparently came home while Swain was in her house and was attacked. Her body was thrown in the trunk of her car and dumped in a field.

Swain does not have an execution date.