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Man scheduled to be executed for killing San Antonio police officer in 2001 shooting


HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A San Antonio man convicted of killing a police officer with the officer's own gun in a struggle 14 years ago is headed for execution.

No last-day appeals are in the courts as the scheduled lethal injection of Manuel Garza Jr. approaches Wednesday evening.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case in November.

The 35-year-old Garza was 20 in February 2001 when he fled from San Antonio Police Officer John "Rocky" Riojas, who was part of a team targeting property crimes at apartments. The officer caught up with Garza, and witnesses said they saw Garza grab Riojas' gun and shoot him in the head.

Defense attorneys contend the shooting was accidental and Garza's already long criminal record the result of an abusive and neglected childhood.

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