Convicted killer of East Texas woman loses appeal

Donnie Roberts. (Source: TDCJ.)
Donnie Roberts. (Source: TDCJ.)

HOUSTON, TX (AP) - A man sent to death row for the slaying of an East Texas woman nearly nine years ago has lost a federal court appeal, moving him a step closer to execution.

Forty-one-year-old Donnie Lee Roberts Jr. was condemned for robbing and shooting his girlfriend, Vicki Bowen, at her home on Lake Livingston in Polk County. Evidence showed Roberts, who previously served prison time in Louisiana for armed robbery, traded a gun stolen from the home for cocaine.

Roberts contended his trial judge improperly refused testimony from an expert witness about his alcohol and drug use, that his trial legal help was deficient and that his trial judge refused testimony from one of his relatives during punishment.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Tuesday rejected each of his claims.

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