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TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A Fort Worth man sent to death row for smothering an 89-year-old man and robbing him of about $6,000 has lost a federal court appeal.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Wednesday rejected arguments that 35-year-old Tilon Carter had deficient legal help at his trial more than 11 years ago in Fort Worth. Judges also disagreed that faulty instructions were given to his jurors.

Carter was condemned for the 2004 slaying of James Tomlin. Evidence showed Tomlin, a retired Bell Helicopter worker, kept cash in containers scattered around his home.

At his trial, prosecutors portrayed Carter as a longtime criminal who led a prison riot while serving a five-year sentence for robbery when he was 16. He also was tied to a fatal shooting at a drug house.

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