Aug 12, 2010 11:24 AM by Melissa Canone
HOUSTON (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the death
sentence of a Corpus Christi man condemned for the 1998 killing of
his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter.
In its ruling, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is critical
of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for deciding earlier that
the trial attorneys for 31-year-old Richard Vasquez did a
constitutionally sound job.
But the New Orleans-based court says, in a decision posted late
Wednesday, that Vasquez wasn't prejudiced by the lousy trial
lawyering. It's affirmed the Nueces (noo-AY'-sis) County jury's
decision that Vasquez should die.
Vasquez was 18 when authorities said he fatally beat Miranda
Lopez because his girlfriend wouldn't tell him where she had hidden
some cocaine. Court documents identified Vasquez as the girl's