Salvadoran man on Texas death row loses appeal

FILE - In this Tuesday, May 27, 2008 file photo, the gurney used to restrain condemned prisoners during the lethal injection process is shown in the Texas death house in Huntsville, Texas. Texas and other states that lead America in executions are sentencing many fewer inmates to death, a trend that slowly is reducing the death row population in the United States, a report from an anti-capital punishment group says. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, May 27, 2008 file photo, the gurney used to restrain condemned prisoners during the lethal injection process is shown in the Texas death house in Huntsville, Texas. Texas and other states that lead America in executions are sentencing many fewer inmates to death, a trend that slowly is reducing the death row population in the United States, a report from an anti-capital punishment group says. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — A Salvadoran man on Texas death row for the slayings of two store clerks in Houston has lost a federal court appeal, moving him closer to execution.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected arguments from 44-year-old Gilmar Guevara that the legal help at his Harris County trial in 2001 was deficient and that his mental impairment makes him ineligible for the death penalty.

Guevara was condemned for fatally shooting 48-year-old Tae Youk and 21-year-old Gerardo Yaxon during an attempted robbery in June 2000. Youk was from South Korea. Yaxon was from Guatemala.

No money was taken from their store.

Guevara also confessed to killing an apartment security guard hours after the double shooting to steal the guard’s gun.

He does not yet have an execution date.

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