Judge denies DNA tests before Texas execution

November 3, 2011 - 2:25 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — A judge has denied a Texas death row inmate's request to test DNA evidence his attorneys say could prove his innocence.

Hank Skinner is to be executed Wednesday for the 1993 deaths of his girlfriend and her two sons.

Skinner's attorneys had asked for testing of DNA evidence that wasn't tested before his 1995 trial.

But Judge Steven R. Emmert denied Skinner's request in a brief order made public Thursday. It didn't explain his decision.

Skinner's attorneys say they plan to appeal the decision to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Prosecutors have called the DNA testing request merely an attempt to again delay the 49-year-old's execution.

Skinner also has filed a federal lawsuit claiming Texas violated his civil rights by withholding access to the evidence. That lawsuit is pending.