HOUSTON (AP) — A Dallas County woman on Texas death row has lost a federal court appeal, moving her a step closer to execution for the fatal stabbing and bludgeoning of a 71-year-old neighbor during a robbery 15 years ago.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday refused an appeal from 51-year-old Kimberly McCarthy. She was sentenced to die for the murder of a retired college professor, Dorothy Booth, at the woman’s home in Lancaster. Evidence showed Booth was attacked with a metal meat tenderizer and knives and her finger was cut off while she was still alive to remove her wedding ring.

McCarthy was tried twice for the slaying, most recently in 2002. A state appeals court threw out her previous conviction in 1998.

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