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Mississippi man appeals death sentence in girl's slaying

Posted at 11:53 AM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 15:13:53-05

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The fate of a Mississippi man facing a federal death sentence for the slaying of a 12-year-old girl now lies with three appeals court judges.

Thomas Sanders left his Mississippi family in 1987 and had been declared legally dead. Then he was found and arrested in Gulfport, Mississippi, in 2010 in connection with the death of Lexis Roberts of Las Vegas.

Defense attorneys argued Monday at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that his death sentence should be reversed.

They said he should have been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial -- noting a history of brain injuries and hallucinations.