Condemned Killer of Houston Girl, 2, Loses Court Appeal

A federal appeals court has refused an appeal from a 56-year-old Houston man on Texas death row for the rape and fatal beating of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter 15 years ago.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments from Kerry Dimart Allen that his lawyers at his Harris County trial in 2001 were deficient. The court late Monday also turned down arguments that the state, its death penalty law and the trial court's actions during jury selection all violated Allen's constitutional protections.

Allen already was a convicted sex offender when he was arrested for the May 2000 slaying of Kienna Lashay Baker. He'd been living with the child's mother and watched her four children when she went to work.

Allen does not yet have an execution date.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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