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Texas man condemned for 1990 slaying in Plano loses federal court appeal

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HOUSTON — A 42-year-old man who's spent more than half his life on death row for the slaying of a suburban Dallas liquor store clerk has lost a federal court appeal, moving him a step closer to execution.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Friday rejected an appeal from Gustavo Garcia, who was 19 in December 1990 when 43-year-old Craig Turski was fatally shot during a holdup in Plano. Authorities tied him to a second slaying a month later, also in Plano.

Attorneys for Garcia had contended his two written confessions improperly were admitted into evidence at his trial, that his trial legal help was deficient and that two prospective jurors improperly were excused.

Garcia was one of seven inmates involved in at attempted escape from death row in 1998.

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