Condemned Dallas cop killer loses federal appeal

HOUSTON (AP) - A convicted killer sent to Texas death row for fatally shooting a Dallas police officer working an off-duty security job at a club more than 13 years ago has lost a federal appeal.

Lawyers for 32-year-old Licho Escamilla argued to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that his trial attorneys were deficient for not producing evidence of his troubled childhood that could have convinced a jury to sentence him to life.

The 5th Circuit said in a ruling late Wednesday that evidence of the crime outweighed any mitigating evidence not presented to jurors. Court records show Officer Christopher James was one of two people Escamilla killed and that Escamilla had a history of violence.

His 2002 trial was marked by him throwing a pitcher of water toward jurors.

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