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Appeal denied for Texas inmate on death row for killing an 11-year-old girl

July 31, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Appeal denied for Texas inmate on death row for killing an 11-year-old girl

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A federal appeal filed by a Texas death row inmate, who was arrested almost 19 years after an 11-year-old Fort Worth girl was raped and murdered in her home, has been rejected.

On Thursday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied claims from 53- year-old Juan Segundo who stated that his attorneys who represented him at his 2006 trial were inadequate and failed to investigate or produce evidence that he was intellectually disabled.

The victim, 11-year-old Vanessa Villa, was murdered in August of 1986. The girl was suffocated in a bedroom while her three younger cousins were asleep. The killer took out a window fan to slip quietly into the bedroom.

After the killing, family members found a note pleading for help that was written in a dictionary in the victim’s bedroom.

The letter said, “Mama, take me from this place. I’m scared,” allegedly referring to her uncle, Juan Carranza.

Carranza said that girl might have been assaulted by someone who could have threatened to kill her if she told anyone. He also stated that she was too scared to speak and instead wrote the note.

Nearly 20 years later, a DNA match linked Segundo to the murder. His wife was a friend of Vanessa’s family, and he was one of the first people to sign the guestbook at her funeral.

DNA confirmation has also associated Segundo with the rapes and strangling of two other women back in 1994 and 1995.

The victim’s mother, Rosa Maria Clarke, told the Dallas Morning News back in 2005: “Always, I wondered what happened to my little girl … She was a happy girl, always helping me. She worked hard. She had a job at 11, and she always tried to give her money to me.”

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