Utah death row inmate loses another appeal

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A death row inmate convicted in the brutal killing of a woman 26 years ago has lost another appeal, this time at the Utah Supreme Court.

The court ruled Tuesday that none of the claims made by 56-year-old Ralph Leroy Menzies had merit. Among his arguments was ineffective representation by past attorneys.

Menzies' current lawyer, Ted Weckel, said he was disappointed in the ruling. Weckel said Menzies could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Menzies also has a pending appeal in federal court.

Authorities say Menzies kidnapped Maurine Hunsaker from her gas station job in 1986 and drove her to a picnic area where he tied her to a tree, strangled her and slit her throat.

He was convicted by a jury in 1988. He has always maintained his innocence.

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