HOUSTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected a death row inmate's claims that he's mentally impaired and ineligible for execution for the slaying of an East Texas woman nearly 18 years ago.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday moves 57-year-old Robert Ladd closer to execution for the murder of 38-year-old Vicki Ann Garner at her Tyler apartment in 1996. Her body, bound at the legs and wrists, had been set on fire and she was beaten with a hammer.
A federal judge last year ruled Ladd's attorneys had failed to prove their claim of mental impairment. The appeals ruling supports that finding.
At the time of the slaying, Ladd was on parole after serving 13 years and pleading guilty to three other slayings in Dallas in 1978.