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Condemned killer of North Texas code enforcement officer loses appeal over 2005 slaying


HOUSTON — A federal appeals court has refused an appeal from a 32-year-old man sent to death row for gunning down a North Texas city's code enforcement officer in a trash dispute nearly 10 years ago.

Attorneys for Adam Kelly Ward argued his lawyers were deficient during the sentencing phase of his 2005 trial in Hunt County, that some of his jurors improperly contacted someone while having lunch during his trial, and that his death sentence was unconstitutional because he's severely mentally ill.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Thursday rejected the appeal.

Ward was convicted of fatally shooting 44-year-old Michael Walker in Commerce, about 60 miles northeast of Dallas. Walker had taken pictures of Ward's home, where court documents say rubbish was hoarded inside and outside.

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