Mexican Mafia member on death row loses appeal - Dallas News |

Mexican Mafia member on death row loses appeal

HOUSTON (AP) - A Mexican Mafia member sent to death row for strangling a woman in San Antonio 15 years ago for failing to pay the gang a 10% tax on illegal drug sales has lost a federal court appeal.

Forty-4-year-old Manuel Vasquez was condemned for the slaying of 51-year-old Juanita Ybarra at a San Antonio motel.

Appeals lawyers argued Vasquez had deficient legal help at his 1999 trial and that prosecutors withheld some interview notes from a man who was severely beaten in the same attack.

The defense also challenged the racial makeup of the grand jury that indicted Vasquez and contended 1 of his gang partners gave perjured testimony.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Wednesday rejected all claims.

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