Hit man in San Antonio murder plot loses appeal

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Associated Press

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 6:02 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused an appeal from a hit man sent to Texas death row for carrying out a murder-for-hire plot that left a San Antonio woman dead.

Evidence showed 41-year-old Rolando Ruiz collected $2,000 to gun down Theresa Rodriguez in 1992 at the request of her husband, Michael, and a brother-in-law in a life insurance scheme.

The high court Monday, without comment, rejected Ruiz's case. He argued his trial lawyer was deficient for failing to present jurors with evidence of an abusive childhood.

In 2007, Ruiz was within an hour of execution when the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave him a reprieve.

Michael Rodriguez also wound up on death row as one of the notorious Texas Seven gang of escapees. He was executed in 2008.

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