Mexican National On Texas Death Row Loses Appeal

A Mexican national who’s on Texas death row for his role in street gang shootings that left four dead lost an appeal Wednesday before the state’s top criminal court.

Juan Carlos Alvarez (Texas prison photo)

HOUSTON (May 7, 2014) The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday rejected an appeal from death row inmate Juan Carlos Alvarez, 37, a Mexican national convicted of capital murder for his role in street gang shootings in Houston that left four dead.

The inmate’s lawyers argued that their client’s initial appeals attorney was incompetent because of an illness that prompted that lawyer to withdraw from the case.

Alvarez had also wanted money approved for investigators and experts.

The ruling Wednesday upheld the decision of the Harris County trial court.

Alvarez was sent to death row for his role in two drive-by shootings with an assault rifle in June 1998.

Four people were killed.

Evidence also tied him to another deadly shooting just days earlier on a Houston freeway.

The court also rejected an appeal Wednesday from Troy Clark, 46, who was sent to death row for torturing and drowning an East Texas woman in his bathtub and then stuffing her body into a barrel and dumping it in a ravine.

The court rejected the appeal, calling it an abuse of the writ process, without considering the merits.

Clark was convicted of capital murder in the May 1998 slaying of a former roommate, Christina Muse, 20, of Tyler.

Evidence showed Muse was hit with a stun gun, beaten with a board, bound with duct tape and kept in a closet before she was drowned at Clark's Tyler home.

Records indicated that Clark and a friend were using and selling methamphetamine and worried she would snitch on them.

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