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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) – A death row inmate’s request for a federal judge to hear his appeal was denied by U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (http://bit.ly/18bOLJ9 ) attorneys for Thomas Edwin Loden Jr., of Vicksburg, who was convicted for capital murder, rape and sexual battery in 2001, filed a motion seeking an evidentiary hearing before Biggers in January.

He was convicted after kidnapping 16-year-old Leesa Marie Gray on June 22, 2000, and videotaping her gruesome rape and murder at his family farm in Itawamba County.

On Tuesday, Biggers dismissed the petition and denied an evidentiary hearing.

In his denial, Biggers did granted a certificate of appealability to Loden.

Any appeal will be before the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.


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