JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A federal appeals court panel has denied condemned inmate Robert Simon Jr.'s claim that he could have avoided a death sentence had his sentencing jury been told of his abusive childhood.
A federal judge in Mississippi had dismissed Simon's ineffective counsel claims in 2008. A panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision on Tuesday.
Simon was sentenced to death for the killings of Carl Parker, his wife, Bobbie Jo, and their son, 12-year-old Gregory, on Feb. 2, 1990. The killings occurred a few hours after the family had returned to their rural Quitman County home from church services.
He also was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of 9-year-old Charlotte Parker, the slain couple's daughter.
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