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HUNTSVILLE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has rejected an appeal from a 48-year-old man set for execution next week for the slayings of two men in Fort Worth more than 11 years ago.

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Christopher Wilkins faces lethal injection Wednesday evening in what would be the nation’s first execution of 2017.

Wilkins contends his lawyer at his 2008 trial in Tarrant County was deficient. The appeals court says the appeal is improper and has dismissed it without ruling on its merits.

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Wilkins has another appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Evidence showed that in October of 2005 Wilkins left a Houston halfway house without permission, stole a truck and drove to Fort Worth. He was convicted of fatally shooting two men there after they duping him into spending $20 for a piece of gravel that was supposed to be a rock of crack cocaine.

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