UPDATE:US Supreme Court won't hear death row appeal

The Associated Press
JACKSON – The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from Mississippi death row inmate Thomas E. Loden Jr.

The Mississippi Supreme Court in 2007 rejected Loden's claims that he relied on faulty advice from his attorney when he pleaded guilty to capital murder and was unexpectedly sentenced to death.

The Mississippi court held because Loden pleaded guilty, the validity of that plea can't be appealed. The nation's high court declined to hear the case Monday.

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

Gray was found dead in Loden's van in 2000 a day after leaving work, according to court documents.

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