HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) - A convicted hit man set for execution in two weeks has lost an appeal at a federal appeals court.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling in an appeal for 44-year-old Rolando Ruiz, has refused to overturn a previous decision where his attorneys argued Ruiz had deficient legal assistance during his trial for the slaying of a San Antonio woman in 1992. The inmate's attorneys contended the ruling was incorrect. The appeals court late Tuesday said it was "unpersuaded" by their arguments.
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Ruiz is set for lethal injection March 7.
He was condemned for collecting $2,000 to kill 29-year-old Theresa Rodriguez in a life insurance scheme involving her husband and a brother-in-law.
In 2007, Ruiz came within an hour of execution before the 5th Circuit halted the punishment.
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