UPDATE: Loden appeal rejected by Miss. high court

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — A post-conviction petition from death row inmate Thomas E. Loden Jr. has been rejected by the Mississippi Supreme Court.

A judge in Itawamba County turned down Loden’s petition in 2008. The Supreme Court on Thursday said Loden didn’t raise any new interest on which he might win a new trial.

Loden, a former Marine recruiter, was sentenced to death in 2001 in the slaying of 16-year-old Leesa Gray. He was also sentenced to 30 years on kidnapping and rape counts.

Gray disappeared June 22, 2000, while on her way home from work as a waitress at her family’s restaurant in the Dorsey community. Her body was found dead the next day in Loden’s van, according to court documents.