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The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a death row inmate convicted in the brutal killing of a woman 29 years ago.

The justices denied the claim brought by 57-year-old Ralph Leroy Menzies. He asked them to overturn a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court that found no merit to claims, including ineffective representation by past attorneys.

Menzies is still appealing his case in federal court and likely years away from any execution date.

Authorities say Menzies kidnapped Maurine Hunsaker from her gas station job in 1986 and drove her to a picnic area where he tied her to a tree, strangled her and slit her throat.

He was convicted by a jury in 1988. He has always maintained his innocence.

His lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.