Death row inmate who used cell phone loses appeal

AP News
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Posted: Dec 16, 2009 1:27 PM

A Texas death row inmate whose threatening calls to legislator prompted a prison system lockdown and a crackdown on contraband has lost his appeal over a 2004 double slaying.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday rejected six claims from Richard Lee Tabler.

Tabler claimed he was improperly convicted and sent to death row for gunning down two men at a remote area in Killeen, not far from Fort Hood.

Evidence showed one of the men managed a strip club and had banned Tabler from his place.

Tabler also has acknowledged killing two dancers from the club.

In 2008, Tabler's made threatening calls using a smuggled cell phone to State Sen. John Whitmire of Houston, who is chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.