Retired Texas Deputy’s Convicted Killer Set To Die

HUNTSVILLE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Attorneys for a Texas prisoner sentenced to die for the slaying of a retired sheriff’s deputy during a holdup a decade ago in South Texas are trying to halt his imminent punishment.

Convicted killer John Quintanilla faces lethal injection Tuesday evening in Huntsville. A federal appeals court has refused to halt the lethal injection and his lawyers late Monday took their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Quintanilla contends his confession to the fatal shooting of 60-year-old Victor Billings in 2002 was coerced and improper. Billings was shot when he grabbed the rifle of one of two masked gunmen who walked into an amusement center in Victoria and announced a holdup.

Quintanilla’s execution would be the ninth this year in Texas and first of two set for this week.

Kimberly McCarthy was put to death on June 26, becoming the 500th person executed in Texas since the state resumed carrying out the death penalty in 1982.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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