Texas inmate condemned for TCU professor death loses appeal

HOUSTON – A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal from a 45-year-old man on Texas death row for the 2004 suffocation of a retired TCU professor whose body was found in Oklahoma after she was abducted in Fort Worth.

Attorneys for Edward Lee Busby argued unsuccessfully to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Busby, from Gray County in the Texas Panhandle, was mentally impaired, meaning he’s ineligible for execution, and had deficient legal help at his trial and in earlier stages of his appeals.

Busby was convicted of the slaying of 77-year-old Laura Lee Crane, who was abducted from a Fort Worth grocery store parking lot. He was arrested in Oklahoma City driving Crane’s car and led authorities to her body in Oklahoma just north of the Texas border.