Supreme Court Rejects Appeal In Ky. Murder cCase

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A former Kentucky Death Row inmate convicted under an alias has lost another appeal in his ongoing efforts to have his conviction overturned.

The Kentucky Supreme Court denied the appeal Thursday from Jeffrey Leonard, a convicted murderer who wants justices to reconsider his conviction based on a claim of ineffective counsel. Leonard was convicted under the pseudonym James Earl Slaughter.

The Supreme Court had denied a motion in 2007 to overturn Leonard's case on his assertion that his defense attorney had done so little investigation that he didn't even know his client's real name. The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to reopen the issue.

Leonard spent nearly 25 years on Kentucky's Death Row for the 1983 murder of Esther Stewart who owned a consignment store in Louisville. Former Gov. Ernie Fletcher commuted his sentence to life in prison.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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