LUBBOCK, Texas — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected Brian Suniga’s application to overturn his death sentence related to the deadly robbery of a One Guy From Italy in Lubbock (4320 50th Street).
Suniga and Sesilio Lopez were accused of coming into the restaurant on December 26, 2011 and pulling guns on a store employee behind the cash register. As Suniga and Lopez were leaving, employee David Rowser came out of the restroom which he had been cleaning.
One of the men shot Rowser, according to court records, stating, “That’s what you get.”
Officers later found the two driving along Interstate 20 in Taylor County. Lopez later pleaded guilty was sentenced to life in prison. Suniga went on trial for capital murder and was sentenced to death.
On appeal to the 7th Circuit in Amarillo and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA), Suniga claimed, among other things, prosecutorial misconduct. Suniga claimed evidence was withheld from him at trial.
The Texas CCA ruled, “We deny relief on this claim because Applicant has not met his burden to show that (1) the State failed to disclose evidence; (2) the withheld evidence was favorable; and (3) the evidence was material.”
Ultimately, the CCA rejected all of claims on appeal for various reasons but saying multiple times Suniga failed to meet his burden of proof.
Court records filed late last week indicate Suniga’s legal team will now pursue the appeal of his death sentence in the federal court system.
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