HOUSTON (AP) — A divided federal appeals court panel has rejected an appeal from a man on Texas death row for gunning down an off-duty Houston police sergeant 20 years ago.

Attorneys for Anthony Haynes argued recent court rulings in other cases bolstered claims he had deficient legal help at his trial and in earlier appeals.

Anthony Haynes

A 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled 2-1 Tuesday against him.

Haynes, convicted of the May 1998 slaying of Houston police Sgt. Kent Kincaid, was less than three hours from execution in 2012 when the U.S. Supreme Court halted his punishment.

Kincaid was with his wife when their SUV was hit by an object from a pickup truck. When he got out to talk to people in the truck, he was shot in the head.

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