Inmate Convicted Of Killing Texas Tech Dean Loses Death Row Appeal

Vaughn Ross (Texas prison photo)

HOUSTON (February 6, 2013)—Texas death row inmate Vaughn Ross, 41, who was convicted of killing a Texas Tech University dean and an 18-year-old Lubbock woman 12 years ago, was a step closer to execution Wednesday after losing a court appeal.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ross’ appeal Tuesday.

He was sentenced to die for the shooting deaths of Douglas Birdsall, 53, and Viola McVade, whose bodies were found in a car in a ravine.

Birdsall was associate dean of libraries at Texas Tech.

Ross, a former Tech student from St. Louis, had been dating McVade's sister.

The victims were found shot in the head Jan. 31, 2001, inside Birdsall's car.

DNA evidence tied Ross to the deaths.

Ross' unsuccessful appeal contended deficient legal help early in his appeals prevented him from pursing appeals that his trial attorneys also were deficient.