HOUSTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal from a North Texas auto mechanic sent to death row for the slayings of a 4-month-old boy and the child’s father during a spree that also left two other people dead 27 years ago.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Thursday moves 59-year-old James Bigby another step closer to execution for the Christmas Eve 1987 deaths of Mike Trekell and his infant son Jayson. Trekell was shot at his Arlington home while cooking a steak for Bigby. The child was drowned in a sink.

Bigby confessed to the slayings but pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.

The appeals court in 2005 threw out his death sentence. He was sentenced to death again the following year after a new punishment trial.

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