HOUSTON (AP) - A San Antonio man on Texas death row for the 2005 slaying of a pregnant Lubbock woman whose body was stuffed inside a piece of luggage found at the Lubbock city landfill has lost a federal court appeal.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling moves 37-year-old Rosendo Rodriguez one step closer to execution for the fatal beating and choking of 29-year-old Summer Baldwin. She's identified in court documents as a pregnant drug-addicted prostitute.
Rodriguez was a Marine reservist training in Lubbock. He contended the slaying was in self-defense. He said he went to a Wal-Mart, bought the suitcase, put her body in it and tossed it in a trash bin.
His appeal argued he had deficient legal help at his trial and that his confession was improperly obtained.
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