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Texas Death Row inmate set for execution for “Lovers Lane killing”

May 16, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Texas Death Row inmate set for execution for “Lovers Lane killing”

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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas inmate scheduled to be executed Wednesday evening has insisted he wasn’t involved in a San Antonio “lovers lane killing” more than 14 years ago that sent him to death row.

Juan Edward Castillo was condemned for the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old man in a robbery plot that testimony showed was carried out by Castillo and several friends.

Castillo would be the 11th convicted killer put to death this year in the U.S. and the sixth given a lethal injection in Texas.

His appeals lawyers contended no physical evidence tied him to the slaying of Tommy Garcia Jr. and argued in appeals that trial testimony from witnesses who said he either told them about the slaying or they heard Castillo talk about committing the crime was false or misleading.

At his trial, two eyewitnesses testified they saw Castillo shoot Garcia, three people said they heard him talk about the killing and another witness testified he was wearing jewelry that belonged to the victim, prosecutors said.

The Texas parole board on Monday refused a clemency request and the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court, both refused appeals that focused on witness trial testimony that implicated Castillo.

Matthew Howard, an assistant district attorney in Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, argued that Castillo’s lawyers had been unable to explain why Castillo, “a supposed innocent, was implicated in the robbery-murder by so many people.”

It wasn’t clear if additional appeals for Castillo would be filed. His lawyers didn’t respond to messages left by The Associated Press. Howard said late Tuesday he wasn’t aware of any new petitions.

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