Man condemned for Texas family murder plot loses high court appeal

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider an appeal from a suburban Houston man on Texas death row for arranging the killings of his mother and brother in 2003 so he could collect a $1 million inheritance.

Attorneys for 37-year-old Thomas “Bart” Whitaker went to the high court after losing an appeal earlier this year that his trial lawyers were deficient and that Fort Bend County prosecutors engaged in misconduct during his trial.

In a second Texas case, the court wants the sentencing of 36-year-old Obie Weathers reviewed after they ruled earlier this year the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in a similar case used outdated data in deciding whether a convicted killer is mentally disabled and ineligible for execution. Weathers was convicted of a 2000 San Antonio slaying.