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Blind killer's appeal denied in Texas

March 18, 2009 at 9:36 PM   |   Comments

HOUSTON, March 18 (UPI) -- A Texas court Wednesday denied an appeal by a death row inmate who ripped out his remaining eye and ate it, saying he's "clearly crazy" but legally "sane."

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals turned down all 44 claims Andre Thomas made in his bid to avoid the death penalty, KTEN-TV in Sherman reported.

Judge Cathy Cochran wrote in a 14-page opinion that Thomas, who removed and ate his own eye several months ago, Thomas "is clearly 'crazy,' but he is also 'sane' under Texas law."

No date has been set for the execution of the 26 year-old Sherman man for killing his estranged wife's 13-month-old daughter five years ago. His wife and their 4-year-old son also were murdered in the same attack.

They were all stabbed and had their hearts ripped out, authorities said.

"The law says if you get drunk and you voluntarily take those drugs, and it causes you to go insane, that's not a defense," Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown told KTEN News. "You can't take those things and say, 'Whoa, I'm not guilty of what I did when I was drunk.' The law won't let you do that."

The appellate court also denied an appeal from another death row inmate, Clifton Lamar Williams, 25, Tyler, who was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in October 2006 for killing 93-year-old Cecilia Schneider.

Williams beat, raped strangled and stabbed Schneider to death in her Tyler home on July 9, 2005, before setting her body and bed on fire, authorities maintain.

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