Condemned killer of San Antonio woman loses appeal

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HOUSTON (AP) - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has rejected an appeal from a man sent to death row for fatally stabbing a disabled woman at her San Antonio home after she refused to give him and his girlfriend money to support their $1,000-a-day drug habit.

Lawyers for 40-year-old Armando Leza contended he was innocent of the 2007 slaying of a neighbor, 57-year-old Caryl Jean Allen, and that his deficient trial lawyers contributed to a Bexar County jury's decision to convict him and give him the death penalty. The appeals court sent the appeal back to the trial court, which held a hearing and recommended the arguments be rejected.

The appeals court ruling Wednesday supports the trial court's findings.

Leza's girlfriend also was charged and testified against him in a plea deal.