HOUSTON, Texas (AP) – Texas’ highest criminal court has refused an appeal from a Dallas man sent to death row for fatally stabbing his two stepsons during a 2007 attack that also killed his wife.

40-year-old Robert Sparks contended a witness at the punishment phase of his capital murder trial provided false testimony regarding his prison classification if a jury chose life without parole rather than a death sentence. Dallas County prosecutors said the testimony was not incorrect.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said Wednesday the appeal fell short of legal requirements and dismissed it without considering its merits.

Sparks was condemned for slayings where 9-year-old Harold Sublet Junior was stabbed at least 45 times, 10-year-old Raekwon Agnew was similarly stabbed and Sparks’ wife, Chare Agnew, died of 18 stab wounds.

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