HOUSTON — An East Texas man sentenced to death for a shootout that left two Henderson County sheriff's deputies dead seven years ago has lost a federal court appeal, moving him a step closer to execution.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused arguments from attorneys for 54-year-old Randall Wayne Mays that the former welder and oilfield worker had deficient legal help at his 2008 trial. The court late Friday also turned down contentions that sentencing Mays to death was unconstitutionally cruel because he's mentally ill.
Mays was convicted of the slaying of sheriff's deputy Tony Ogburn. A second officer, Paul Habelt, also was killed. A third deputy was wounded.
The shootings occurred after Mays barricaded himself in his house in Payne Springs, about 55 miles southeast of Dallas.