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HUNTSVILLE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A Texas inmate scheduled to be executed this week for strangling a female impersonator 15 years ago insists the death was an accident during sex and has made multiple appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A jury had rejected Richard Masterson’s testimony that 35-year-old Darin Honeycutt was accidentally asphyxiated. The 43-year-old Masterson is set for lethal injection Wednesday.

Evidence showed Masterson stole Honeycutt’s car and fled to Florida, where he was arrested and found with another car stolen from a man who testified he’d survived a similar choking episode involving Masterson.

Masterson’s attorneys say Honeycutt’s death was accidental or from a heart attack. They have also raised due process claims.

Earlier this week, Vienna’s cardinal said he was in touch with Masterson, and that Pope Francis was following the case as well.

If Masterson is put to death, the execution would be the first this year in the state. Texas carries out capital punishment more than any other state.

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