Death Row Inmate Gets New Punishment Hearing

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AUSTIN -- A man sent to death row over the 2001 rape and strangling of a 15-year-old El Paso girl will get a new punishment hearing.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals today upheld the capital murder conviction of Irving Alvin Davis, but threw out his death sentence for killing Melissa Medina.

Prosecutors say Medina refused to continue having sex with Davis, who was 18 at the time.

The ruling says the trial judge improperly ruled in favor of prosecutors. They objected to testimony from nine acquaintances who weren't allowed to give their opinions whether Davis would be a continuing threat to society.

Davis told police that he and Medina were having sex, but she asked him to stop and said she'd "cry rape" if they continued. Davis said he strangled the girl, then walked to a friend's house, got gardening clippers and cut off her fingertips.

She'd scratched Davis, who feared his DNA was under her fingernails.