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The Latest: Supreme Court declines to block Texas execution

01/11/2017 at 9:44 | Posted by KDWN

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Texas execution scheduled for Wednesday evening (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to block the scheduled execution of a Texas death row inmate who killed two men after one of them mocked him for falling for a fake drug deal.

The court's ruling on appeals for 48-year-old Christopher Wilkins came about three hours before his scheduled Wednesday evening lethal injection. It would be the first execution in the nation this year.

Wilkins' attorneys had argued to the Supreme Court that he had poor legal help at his trial and during earlier appeals and that the courts improperly refused to authorize money for a more thorough investigation of those claims to support other appeals and a clemency petition.

State attorneys argued courts had rejected similar appeals and that defense lawyers were simply employing delaying tactics.

8:10 a.m.

Lawyers for a Texas death row inmate who killed two men after one of them mocked him for falling for a fake drug deal are looking to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep him from becoming the first prisoner executed in the nation this year.

Christopher Wilkins, 48, is set for lethal injection Wednesday evening.

Wilkins explained to jurors at his capital murder trial in 2008 how and why he killed his friends in Fort Worth three years earlier, saying he didn't care if they sentenced him to death.

In an appeal pending before the high court, Wilkins' attorneys contended he had poor legal help at trial and during earlier appeals and that the courts improperly refused to authorize money for a more thorough investigation of those claims to support other appeals and a clemency petition.

State attorneys said courts have rejected similar appeals and that defense lawyers are simply employing delaying tactics.

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