High Court Refuses Review of Two Death Row Inmates

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the cases of two Texas death row inmates.

Justices rejected a review for Derrick Sonnier, a suburban Houston man convicted of beating, stabbing and strangling a woman and her toddler in 1991.

The victims were Melody Flowers and her two-year-old son, Patrick.

Prosecutors say Sonnier lived in the same Humble apartment complex as Flowers and had bothered her several times, including two break-ins at her home.

Elroy Chester was condemned for fatally shooting a Port Arthur fireman nine years ago.

Chester confessed to the slayings of at least four other people during a six-month crime spree.

He pleaded guilty to killing Willie Ryman III, who was trying to keep Chester from raping his two nieces at their Port Arthur home during a burglary.

The Supreme Court in 2002 barred the execution of mentally retarded people. A federal judge that year ruled Chester's trial court never determined whether he was retarded.

A federal court in 2003 refused to rule on Chester's appeal until all state appeals were exhausted.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in February had refused to overturn a lower court ruling that said Chester is not mentally retarded.


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