Supreme Court rejects Texas death row inmate’s plea for DNA testing in murder case

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Cherry blossom trees bloom on the grounds of the U.S. Supreme Court.

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will not allow additional DNA testing of evidence a death row inmate in Texas says could show he didn’t kill a suburban Houston college student.

The justices on Monday rejected an appeal from Larry Swearingen, who was convicted of abducting, raping and killing 19-year-old Melissa Trotter in 1998.

Swearingen has sought to test fingernail scrapings from Trotter, items of her clothing and cigarette butts found near her body. The trial court in his case has twice ordered the testing, but was reversed by the state Court of Criminal Appeals on both occasions.