TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A judge has rejected a new appeal by a drug trafficker facing execution on Tuesday for killing a state trooper in north Florida with a pipe bomb 21 years ago.
Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey on Friday denied motions to vacate Paul Augustus Howell's murder conviction and death sentence in Jefferson County just east of Tallahassee.
Howell's lawyers also have an appeal pending in federal court in Tallahassee. The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a prior appeal.
The 47-year-old native of Jamaica was convicted of killing Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jimmy Fulford.
The trooper stopped a car for speeding on Interstate 10. He died instantly when the bomb went off as he tried to open a gift-wrapped microwave oven he found in the car.