Death Row Appeal Refused in Preacher Murder

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review an appeal from a Lubbock man sent to Texas death row for the 1998 robbery and slaying of a 72-year-old retired preacher and maintenance worker.

The high court Monday without comment rejected the case of 43-year-old Joe Garza Jr.  He was convicted of using a sock to strangle Silbiano Rangel, then take his truck and money.

Garza's lawyers contended his trial judge in 2000 failed to consider all the evidence and improperly blocked development of more facts. Garza also contended his trial lawyers improperly blocked him from testifying and failed to challenge evidence he was a prison gang member.

Garza was on parole for a burglary conviction when Rangel was killed in Lubbock.

He does not yet have an execution date.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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