HOUSTON — A federal appeals court has overruled a district court judge and is asking the lower court to look again at the appeal of a man from El Salvador on Texas death row for the slayings of two Houston waitresses 15 years ago.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says a federal judge should review whether 39-year-old Walter Sorto should be granted money so a more complete IQ score for him can be obtained. His lawyers contend he’s mentally impaired and ineligible for execution.
He’s one of two men condemned for the May 2002 abduction, rape and fatal shootings of 24-year-old Roxana Capulin and 38-year-old Maria Rangel. Sorto was on probation at the time of the slayings and prosecutors said he was responsible for at least two other murders.